Whole numbers are positive integers, including zero, the smallest whole number. 0 is the undefined identity representing a null set or no result. Whole numbers do not include decimals, fractions, and negative numbers. We can use whole numbers to easily carry out the mathematical operations i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Whole numbers are represented as W = {0, 1, 2, 3, ….∞}.

Natural numbers

Natural numbers are the real numbers consisting of all the positive numbers from 1 to infinity, excluding zero (0), decimals, fractions, and negative numbers. We can use whole numbers to easily carry out the mathematical operations i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Natural numbers are represented as N = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,….∞}

Let us learn the differences between whole numbers and natural numbers from the table below.

Difference between Whole and Natural Numbers

Whole Numbers

Natural Numbers

Set of positive numbers starting from zero (0)

Set of positive numbers starting from 1

All whole numbers are not natural numbers

All natural numbers are whole numbers

Represented by ‘W’

Represented by ‘N’

Let us learn the similarities between whole and natural numbers.

Similarities

Both whole and natural numbers are positive numbers

Both are closed under the mathematical operations – addition, and multiplication

Both are exclusive of negative integers, fractions, and decimals.

Solved Examples

Find out the whole numbers from the following list: 16, 240, 67.899, 3/5, −27, 0, −19, −3/2.

Solution:

As we know, Whole numbers are the positive numbers starting from zero (0), ∴ The whole numbers here = 0, 16, and 240

FAQs

Q1. Are Natural Numbers Whole Numbers?

Ans. Yes. All natural numbers are whole numbers because whole numbers are the set of natural numbers and zero.