Instructional Blog

How to Classify Numbers

Just like people, animals, books, and medical diagnoses, numbers have classifications. Numbers live in a certain family. When you hear the last name, Parker, you already have an expectation of the person behind that surname! Well, if you don’t picture a nerdy photographer talking about great powers and great responsibilities, then I don’t know what to tell you.

When you hear the job title, firefighter, you expect a tall person with a red hat, a hose, and an axe.

When you hear the number classification, integer, you should expect a positive or negative whole number with no decimals nor fractions. You need to know how numbers are classified, because like all the other classifications in the world, they are important when communicating intelligently.

Nobody says, “Here comes the fire truck!” and a pizza delivery driver pulls up.

How to Identify Percentages

Percentages are pretty interesting. They are basically a decimal or fraction. Whenever we see them in math, we sigh, because we typically don’t calculate values using percentages in the way they’re written. We have to convert them into decimal form first. Needless to say, (3/4) is not a percentage, but a percent can represent that fraction!

(3/4) is 75% after all.

How to Identify Prime Numbers

Prime numbers are numbers that can only be divided by 1 and itself. They are often portrayed as whole numbers. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, … are prime numbers. Based on the very definition of prime numbers, 1 is not one. That being said, (3/4) is not a prime number either.

How to Identify Integers

As mentioned earlier. Whole Numbers are all the counting numbers including 0. Integers are all the counting numbers, including 0 and their opposites. So, …, -4, -3, -2, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, … are integers. They cannot be fractions or decimals, so, answer choice D is out of the picture. (See what I did there?)

How to Identify Rational Numbers

The most basic definition of a rational number is a number that is a ratio. (3/4) is a fraction. A fraction is a type of ratio (Part to Whole to be exact). -5 is a rational number as well, since it can be written as (-5/1)! All integers including decimal numbers are rational.

The biggest part about rational numbers is its terminating or repeating element. All rational numbers terminate or repeat. An example of a number which terminates is 3.239432. Do you see how this decimal terminates? An example of a repeating number is 101.863743743

Classifying numbers is one of the most important concepts you should learn. Knowing them will always bring you success.

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