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A continuous variable is one that can take any value within an interval (or a set of intervals). A discrete variable is one that can only take certain values.

Some further notes:

* Often a discrete variable takes integer values, but that is not necessary.

* Neither discrete nor continuous variables need be limited to a finite number of possible values.

* Frequently, continuous variables are continuous only in principle, and the measuring instruments or recording make them discrete. Eg your height is continuous but as soon as it is recorded as 1.75 cm or 5'9", it is made discrete.

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13y ago
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12y ago

Discrete: number of elements in finite; continuous: number of elements is infinite.

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Q: Difference between discrete and continuous
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