With natural numbers, it is not possible to operate when the minuend is smaller than the subtrahend, but in life there are such operations.

For example, the need to represent owed money , temperature below zero and depths with respect to sea level.

The previous examples require us to expand the concept of natural numbers and introduce a new numerical set called integers.

A set of integers is formed by:

enteros = {...−5, −4, −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ...}

That is, the natural numbers, their opposites (negative) and the zero. They are divided into three parts: positive integers or natural numbers, negative integers and zero.

Since the integers contain the positive integers, the natural numbers are a subset of integers.

Subset of Integers


Absolute Value of an Integer

The absolute value of an integer is a natural number that is obtained after the sign is removed from the integer.

The absolute values are written between vertical bars.

|−5| = 5

|5| = 5

Representation of Integers

1. In a horizontal line, take any point that is designated as zero.

2. In equal distances to the right of zero are the positive numbers: 1, 2, 3,...

3. In equivalent distances to the left of zero are the negative numbers: −1, −2, −3, ...

Representation of Integers