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What Are Even and Odd Numbers?

The integers are divided into two groups: Even numbers and odd numbers. In the figure below you see some numbers in blue and some numbers in grey. The grey are odd numbers and the blue are even numbers.

Integers up to 20, with alternating even and odd numbers

As you can see from the figure, every other integer is even or odd.

Think About This

There are 4 chocolates on a table. You and a friend share these. Do you get equally many chocolates? Is 4 an even or odd number?

When you divide 4 chocolates between two people, you get 2 each. Because you get the same amount of pieces and there are non left over, so 4 is an even number. Take a look at the numbers above. Are these the grey or the blue numbers?

Think About This

A friend is visiting you and has bought a bag of candy with 7 pieces. You’re going to share the pieces in the bag equally. Do you get the same amount of pieces? Is 7 and even or odd number?

When you’re dividing 7 pieces between two people, you get 3 each, but there’s one piece left over. In reality you can take a knife and divide the last piece, such that you get one half each. But you cannot divide the 7 pieces in such a way that you get the same amount of whole pieces. Therefore, you know that 7 is an odd number. This is because odd numbers cannot be divided by two. From the numbers above, you see that 7 is blue, so the odd numbers are blue.

A way of thinking of even and odd numbers: If you and a friend are sharing something and you can get the same amount each, the number is even. If there’s one piece left over, the number is odd.

The math master sharing candy with a friend

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