Table of Contents

In mathematics, a rational number is a real number expressed as p/q, where q is not zero. Examples include 1/2, 1/5, and 3/4. Zero (0) is also rational, written as 0/1, 0/2, etc. But, fractions like 1/0, 2/0, are not rational, leading to infinite values. This article explains rational numbers, their properties, types, and differences from irrational numbers. It provides clear examples and demonstrates how to represent them on a number line after simplifying them into decimal form.

## What is a Rational Number?

A **rational number** in mathematics is one that can be expressed as a fraction, like p/q, where q isn’t zero. It means any fraction is a rational number, with integers as the top (numerator) and bottom (denominator) parts. When you divide a rational number (a fraction), the answer can be a decimal, which can either stop or keep repeating.

### Rational Numbers Examples

p |
q |
p/q |
Rational |

10 | 2 | 10/2 =5 | Rational |

1 | 1000 | 1/1000 = 0.001 | Rational |

50 | 10 | 50/10 = 5 | Rational |

## How to identify rational numbers?

To determine if a number is rational, follow these guidelines:

- Express it as a fraction, like p/q, where q is not zero.
- The fraction should simplify to a decimal.
- Rational numbers encompass positive, negative, and zero values.
- They can always be written as fractions.

## Types of Rational Numbers

Rational numbers can be categorized into several types based on their characteristics and properties. Here are some common types of rational numbers:

**Positive Rational Numbers:**These are rational numbers greater than zero. Examples include 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6.**Negative Rational Numbers:**These are rational numbers less than zero. Examples include -1/3, -2/5, and -4/7.**Whole Numbers:**Whole numbers are rational numbers without fractions or decimals. Examples include 2, -5, and 0, which can be expressed as 2/1, -5/1, and 0/1, respectively.**Integers:**Integers are rational numbers that include both positive and negative whole numbers, along with zero. Examples include -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, and so on.**Proper Fractions:**These are rational numbers where the numerator (top number) is smaller than the denominator (bottom number). Examples include 1/2, 2/7, and 3/4.**Improper Fractions:**In these rational numbers, the numerator is equal to or greater than the denominator. Examples include 5/4, 7/3, and 11/5.**Mixed Numbers:**Mixed numbers combine a whole number and a proper fraction. Examples include 2 1/3, -3 4/5, and 1 7/8.**Reciprocals:**The reciprocal of a rational number is obtained by swapping the numerator and denominator. For example, the reciprocal of 3/4 is 4/3.**Zero:**Zero, denoted as 0, is also a rational number, as it can be expressed as 0/1.

### Difference Between Positive and Negative Rational Numbers

Positive Rational Numbers |
Negative Rational Numbers |

Positive (+) | Negative (-) |

Greater than zero | Less than zero |

Positive | Negative |

Positive | Positive |

1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, … | -1/3, -2/5, -4/7, -6/9, … |

p/q (where p > 0 and q > 0) | p/q (where p < 0 and q > 0) |

Right of zero | Left of zero |

## Rational Numbers Properties

Rational numbers have several important properties that make them distinct and valuable in mathematics. Here are some key properties of rational numbers:

**Closure Property:**Rational numbers are closed under addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. When you perform these operations on two rational numbers, the result is always a rational number.**Commutative Property:**The commutative property holds for addition and multiplication of rational numbers. That is, for any two rational numbers a and b, a + b = b + a, and a * b = b * a.**Associative Property:**The associative property holds for addition and multiplication of rational numbers. That is, for any three rational numbers a, b, and c, (a + b) + c = a + (b + c), and (a * b) * c = a * (b * c).**Identity Elements:**The identity element for addition is 0, as adding 0 to any rational number leaves it unchanged. The identity element for multiplication is 1, as multiplying any rational number by 1 results in the same number.**Inverse Elements:**Every rational number has an additive inverse, which is its negative counterpart. For any rational number a, there exists -a such that a + (-a) = 0. Similarly, every non-zero rational number has a multiplicative inverse (reciprocal), denoted as 1/a, such that a * (1/a) = 1.**Distributive Property:**The distributive property holds for rational numbers. For any rational numbers a, b, and c, a * (b + c) = (a * b) + (a * c).**Ordering:**Rational numbers can be compared and ordered. For any two rational numbers a and b, one of the following is true: a < b, a = b, or a > b. This property allows rational numbers to be arranged on a number line.**Density Property:**Between any two distinct rational numbers, there exists an infinite number of other rational numbers. This property makes rational numbers densely packed along the number line.**Closure under Division:**Division is defined for rational numbers as long as the divisor is not zero. In other words, rational numbers are closed under division by non-zero rational numbers.**Associative Law of Division:**For any three non-zero rational numbers a, b, and c, (a/b) / (c/b) = a/c.

## FAQs on Rational Numbers

### What are rational numbers? Give Examples.

Rational numbers are numbers that can be expressed as a fraction of two integers (whole numbers), where the denominator (the bottom number) is not zero. Examples of rational numbers include 1/2, -3/4, 5, -7, and 0.5.

### Is 0 a rational number?

Yes, 0 is a rational number. It can be expressed as 0/1, which is a fraction of two integers.

### Is 7 a rational number?

Yes, 7 is a rational number. It can be expressed as 7/1, which is a fraction of two integers.

### Is 3.14 a rational number?

No, 3.14 (or π, pi) is not a rational number. It is an irrational number because it cannot be expressed as a fraction of two integers.

### Is 8 a rational number?

Yes, 8 is a rational number. It can be expressed as 8/1, which is a fraction of two integers.

### Is 11 a rational number?

Yes, 11 is a rational number. It can be expressed as 11/1, which is a fraction of two integers.

### Is 7 rational or irrational?

7 is a rational number. It can be expressed as 7/1, which is a fraction of two integers.