# What is an Integer?

Have you ever counted apples or solved math problems in school? When you do that, you are using integers! Integers are a special group of numbers that include all whole numbers and their negatives.

### Understanding Integers

Integers are like the numbers you use every day to count things, but they also include negative numbers. Here are some examples of integers:

• Positive Integers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …
• Negative Integers: -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, …
• Zero: 0

### What Makes Integers Special?

Integers are different from other numbers because they do not include fractions or decimals. They are whole numbers, which means they can be positive, negative, or zero, but they don’t have any parts or pieces.

### Why Are Integers Important?

Integers are important because they help us do a lot of things in math and in real life:

• Counting: We use integers to count objects, like apples or toys.
• Measuring: We can measure things, like temperature, using positive and negative integers.
• Math Operations: We can add, subtract, multiply, and divide using integers.

### Example of Using Integers

Imagine you have 5 apples. If you give 3 apples to a friend, you can use integers to find out how many apples you have left:

• You give away 3 apples.
• You have 5 – 3 = 2 apples left.

If you borrow 2 apples from a friend, you can use negative integers to show that you owe apples:

• You borrow 2 apples.
• You now have -2 apples (you owe 2 apples).

### Fun Fact

Did you know that negative integers are used in weather forecasts? When the temperature goes below zero, like -10 degrees, that’s a negative integer showing how cold it is!

### Conclusion

Integers are whole numbers that can be positive, negative, or zero. They are used in many ways, like counting, measuring, and doing math. Next time you count your toys or see a weather report, remember that you are using integers!