A real number is a number that can be positive or negative and have decimal places after the point. Example: 3.44, -56.1
Try this Drag the orange dot below to move it along the number line

A real number is a value that represents any quantity along a number line. Because they lie on a number line, their size can be compared. You can say one is greater or less than another, and do arithmetic with them.

Other kinds of numbers

  • Integers

    Integers are numbers that have no decimal places or fractional parts. See Integer definition.
  • Whole numbers (Counting numbers)

    Whole numbers (or counting numbers) are numbers that have no decimal places or fractional parts, and cannot be negative. They are usualy used to count things, for example "12 students". In this use, a negative number of students does not make sense. See Integer definition
  • Imaginary numbers

    An imaginary number is a number whose square is negative. This can never happen with real numbers. See Imaginary numbers.
  • Complex numbers

    Just as real numbers lie on a number line, complex numbers can be plotted on a 2-dimensional plane, and each need a pair of numbers to identify them - a real number and an imaginary number. See Complex numbers

Other number topics

Scalar numbers

Counting numbers

Numbers that have factors

Special values