What are Whole Numbers?

The Best U Know >Mathematics >Number >What are Whole Numbers?                                                                                       Whole numbers are members of set of numbers from 0. Any number which does not contain decimal, fraction or negative value is a whole number. We saw that numbers are used to count the things. We use symbols to write numbers. Those symbols are called ‘digits’. We use ten symbols- 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. As we use ten symbols to write numbers, our system of writing numbers is called the ‘Decimal system’. In this system, the value of a numeral is told by its place in the number. We have seen this in ‘ Place value of digit ’.

Is Zero a Whole Number?

Question is arisen that- Is zero a whole number? Answer is ‘yes’ because mathematicians defined the whole number as a set of non-negative integers. And zero is present in integers. Zero is non-negative as well as non-positive integer. As zero is also considered as a number it is added to the group of natural numbers and a new group starting from zero is formed, that is  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9….

This new set of natural number with zero is called the set of whole numbers. The symbol for the set of whole numbers is ‘W‘. We can write it as;

W = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…..}

That is, the set of whole numbers starts from zero.

We can say that-

  • All natural numbers are also whole numbers.
  • Non-negative and non-positive number zero is included in this set.
  • The value of whole number is increased from left to right.
  • If we go further from left to right, we get more numbers.
  • There are innumerable numbers. There is no end to these numbers.
  • So like natural numbers, we cannot tell the biggest whole number.

In mathematical language, we can write it as;

W = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…..}

Operation of Whole Numbers

If we use the members of this set in mathematical operations, we see that-

  1. Addition of whole numbers is also a whole number.


  •              2 + 3 = 5 (5 is whole number)
  1. Multiplication of whole number is also a whole number.


  •                 5 × 6 = 30 (30 is whole number)
  1. Subtraction of these numbers may or may not be whole number.


  •                   9 – 5 = 4 (4 is whole number)
  •                   5 – 9 = -4 (-4 is not whole number)
  1. Division of these numbers may be or may not be whole number.


  •                   8/4 = 2 (2 is whole number)
  •                   9/4 = 2.25 (2.25 is not a member of this set)

Read more about properties of whole numbers here.        

Also go over-

Natural Numbers

Divisibility Test