What is the difference between rational and irrational numbers? A rational number can be written in a simple fraction, and an irrational number cannot. I think rational numbers are easier to understand because they can be written in a ratio. I have provided you with an example of a rational number below. On the other hand, irrational numbers can be tricky.

Irrational numbers cannot be written in a ratio; therefore, it can be hard to determine what a number is equal to. In the picture above I have given an example of an irrational number. Nonrepeating decimals are an example of irrational numbers. 8.08008000800008… is an example because there are no repeats in the numbers.

Rational and irrational numbers are both real numbers. There are also non-real numbers; these numbers are usually not learned until higher grade levels, but they do exist. An example of a non-real number is the square root of -4. Having a negative number under a square root is a sign that the number you are dealing with is non-real. This is a good tip to know if you have to categorize numbers into different groups. I experienced this while I was working on a worksheet in my math class. Understanding the difference between real and non-real numbers helped me on my worksheet and can help you too!

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