Numbers/Content/What Are Numbers?

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The Story of Numbers

In the past, humans moved often. They ate fruits, grains, and animals that they found going from place to place. When they started to build towns and farms, people needed a way to write records of trades and money. They made a language of writing using signs for different animals, plants, and words. They also made special groups of signs for the idea of amounts. These signs were the first numbers.

Numbers are signs people use for amounts. Different peoples use different signs for numbers.

The Numbers 1-10 Using Different Signs
Arabic[1] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Roman
Chinese
Indic[2] ١ ٢ ٣ ٤ ٥ ٦ ٧ ٨ ٩ ١٠
Thai ๑๐
Devanagari १०
Hebrew א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י

Most of the world uses the same signs for numbers that are in English. These signs were changed from old signs that people first used in the Arab World and India.

This Part of the Book

This part of the book tells you about many different kinds of numbers. There are numbers you can count on your fingers. There are very small numbers and very big numbers. There are very long numbers that never end, and special numbers that tell you how the world works.

After you learn different kinds of numbers, you will learn how use them to do Math.