Is Rational a Data Type in Python?


Heather Bennett

In Python, the concept of data types is fundamental to understanding how variables work. Each variable in Python has a specific data type, which determines the kind of data it can store and the operations that can be performed on it.

The Basic Data Types in Python

Python has several built-in data types, including integers, floating-point numbers, strings, booleans, and more. These data types allow you to work with different kinds of values and perform various operations on them.

What is Rational?

Rational numbers are a type of real number that can be expressed as a fraction or ratio of two integers. They include numbers like 1/2, 3/4, -5/6, etc. In Python, rational numbers are not considered as a separate built-in data type.

Python provides a built-in module called ‘fractions’ that allows you to work with rational numbers. This module provides the ‘Fraction’ class that represents rational numbers as objects. By using this class from the ‘fractions’ module, you can perform arithmetic operations on rational numbers.

Using the fractions Module

To use the ‘fractions’ module in Python, you first need to import it using the following code:

<code>import fractions</code>

Once imported, you can create a rational number by calling the 'Fraction()' constructor and passing in two integer arguments representing the numerator and denominator:

<code>x = fractions.Fraction(1, 2)</code>

The above code creates a rational number object with a numerator of 1 and a denominator of 2. You can then perform various operations on this rational number, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


Let's take a look at an example that demonstrates the usage of rational numbers in Python:

<code>import fractions

x = fractions.Fraction(1, 2)
y = fractions.Fraction(3, 4)

sum = x + y
difference = x - y
product = x * y
quotient = x / y


The above code creates two rational number objects 'x' and 'y' with numerators and denominators as specified. It then performs addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on these objects and stores the results in the respective variables.

The output of the code will be:


This output represents the sum of 'x' and 'y' as a rational number.


In conclusion, while Python does not have a built-in data type specifically for rational numbers, you can still work with them by using the 'fractions' module. This module provides the necessary functionality to create and perform operations on rational numbers in Python. By utilizing this module effectively, you can handle rational numbers efficiently in your Python programs.