Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Robin, a parent:

Right now we're living in a motel because our house won't be ready for 3 weeks. The public school system won't let my kids in. I am trying to keep the kids going by making them do school work at home. My freshman is beyond me. How do I solve for the next term in the following sequence, I just don't want the answer...I want how to do it to. x,x -1, x -2

Also, how do I solve for the nth term? I can't understand the explanations I've found. He has numbers subscripted in his equations.


The first term is x, which might be better read as x-0.
The second term is x-1.
The third term is x-2.
The fourth term should be x-3 because what is subtracted from x is one less than the number of the term (4-1 = 3).
Using that reasoning, the tenth term should be x-9 (= x - (10-1)) and the 25th term should be x-24 (= x - (25-1)).
And so the nth term (term number n) should be ...


About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS