In this article we will learn about whole numbers. How are whole numbers different from natural numbers? We will also try and understand various properties of whole numbers.

## Natural Numbers

Has your teacher ever told you to count the number of students present in the class? What is the first number you start counting from? 1, isnâ€™t it. This is the reason 1, 2, 3, 4â€¦.. are known as counting numbers or natural numbers.

*1,2,3,4,5,6 â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦*

Counting numbers are also known as natural numbers. Do not get confused between them.

## Predecessor and Successor

Having difficulty in remembering the difference between predecessor and successor â€“ refer the figure above. The **Child** will inherit the property of the **Man**, so the **Child** is the successor of **Man**. Similarly the **Man** inherited the property of his **Father**. So the **Father** is the predecessor of the **Man**.

So whatever comes next is the successor and whatever was before is predecessor.

Coming back to numbers. For Number 16, find successor and predecessor *(Remember the above example)*

So do every natural number has a successor or a predecessor?

Letâ€™s find for 1.

__We see that 1 has no predecessor as 0 is not a natural number__.

## Whole Numbers

The set of natural number along with zero form a set of whole numbers.

## Number Line

Number line for whole numbers. Refer the figure below to understand number line for whole number. The figure explains addition and subtraction with the help of a number line.

## Properties of Whole Numbers

- Addition and multiplication of 2 whole number will always give a whole number.
- Subtraction and division of 2 whole number may or may not give a whole number.

Refer the figure below for better understanding.

## Discussing Commutativity

Before understanding what commutative means, refer to the figure below and try to understand what the figure is implying.

We will take two whole number 2, 3 and apply various operations like addition, subtraction etc.

From the above figure we understand what commutative means.

__Addition and Multiplication of whole numbers are commutative in nature while division and subtraction are not.__

Thus here we had a discussion about whole numbers as it is one of the foundations on which the number system is built. Students Â who wish to learn more on this topic should do so by attempting exercises like the one given here- NCERT solutions for whole numbers.