# Discrete vs Continuous

Discrete data is data that can take only specific values, while continuous data can take any value within a range. For example, the number of marbles in a jar or words in a book are discrete- you can only have an integer number of marbles or words, not a half of a word or a quarter. It's important to note that even though discrete data can only take on certain values, there can still be an infinite number of values, as in the above examples (since there are infinite integers).

Typically, you can count discrete data, while you measure the continuous data, which can be done as precisely as is desired.

Some examples:

Scenario | Discrete or continuous |
---|---|

Cells in an organism | Discrete (must be an integer) |

Height of a patient | Continuous (can measure as precisely as you want) |

Speed of a vehicle | Continuous (can measure as precisely as you want) |

Sides on a polygon | Discrete (must be an integer) |

People in a room | Discrete (must be an integer) |

Grains of sand on a beach | Discrete (must be an integer) |

Weight of a rock | Continuous (can measure as precisely as you want) |

Pixels on a screen | Discrete (must be an integer) |

Depth of a pool | Continuous (can measure as precisely as you want) |