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What Is the Real Number Line?


A section of the real number line

The real number line is very exciting. It’s full of secrets that might surprise you. For example, the real number line has infinitely many numbers, and between any two numbers there are also infinitely many numbers. That thought alone can make you dizzy.

But the real number line has a nice structure. Basically, it is divided into two parts by the number 0. Left of 0, you have all the negative numbers. Right of 0, you have all the positive numbers.

The real number line consists of integers, decimal numbers, fractions, numbers that are letters, and numbers that are expressed with other characters. Gradually, when you get older, you’ll learn more about the different sets of numbers. The more you know about the sets of numbers, the easier mathematics and calculations will be.

So hold on, because one of the most exciting trips you’ll have begins now—the travel through the world of mathematics.

Soon, you’ll learn to get comfortable with the positive integers, negative integers, decimal numbers, and fractions. It is super important that you take your time to understand how the different numbers work, and how you do calculations with them.

Curving number line from 1 to 100

Think About This

Numbers are to mathematics what letters are to language. They are the basic building blocks.

In a language, you need letters to make words and sentences. In mathematics you need numbers to express yourself and solve problems. If you master both numbers and letters, you have a fantastic foundation to express yourself precisely and make yourself understood.

Think About This

Are you able to place these numbers in ascending order?

0, 4, 28, 41, 2.31, 6, 348, 1000, 31.54, 100

You start with the negative numbers. First, you write the negative number with the largest value. Next, you choose the negative numbers that have smaller and smaller values until you get to 0. Then you choose the smallest positive number. Finally, you choose the positive numbers so that they increase in value:

1000, 41, 4, 0, 2.31, 6, 28, 31.54, 100, 348

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The Decimal System and the Numbers up to 100
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How to Compare Numbers by Size