## The Lesson

A natural number is a whole number from 1 upwards:Mathematicians use the symbol to represent the set of natural numbers.

## Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a natural number as "a positive whole number (1, 2, 3, etc.)"## Natural Numbers As Counting Numbers

A natural number is a counting number. Natural numbers are the numbers you would use to count objects.## Natural Numbers on the Number Line

The image below shows the natural numbers on the number line.**Note:**The natural numbers are whole numbers only. They are not found in between the numbers shown.

## What Natural Numbers Are

Natural numbers are positive integers.## What Natural Numbers Are Not

Natural numbers are**not**negative (such as −1) and are

**not**fractions (part of a whole number, such as ½ or 0.3).

## What Natural Numbers Are (Usually) Not

0 is (usually) not a natural number. A child learning to count would not count zero objects.(Some mathematicians do count 0 as a natural number. We do not. The idea of 0 is more abstract and less natural - it was invented later. If you include 0, you have the whole numbers).