Numbers that can be expressed in the form  ,where p and q are integers and q≠0, are known as rational numbers.  The collection of rational numbers is denoted by Q. These rational numbers satisfies various laws or properties that are listed below:


  • Rational numbers are closed under addition, subtraction and multiplication. If a, b are any two rational numbers, then and the sum, difference and product of these rational numbers is also a rational number, then we say that rational numbers satisfy the closure law.
  • Rational numbers are commutative under addition and multiplication. If a, b are rational numbers, then:
    Commutative law under addition: a+b = b+aCommutative law under multiplication: axb = bxa
  • Rational numbers are associative under addition and multiplication. If a, b, c are rational numbers, then:
    Associative law under addition: a+(b+c) = (a+b)+cAssociative law under multiplication: a(bc) = (ab)c
  • 0 is the additive identity for rational numbers.
  • 1 is the multiplicative identity for rational numbers.
  • The additive inverse of a  is , and the additive inverse of .
  • If  , then  is the reciprocal or multiplicative inverse of , and vice versa.
  • For all rational numbers, p, q and r,   and , is known as thedistributive property.
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