SEARCH HOME
 Math Central Quandaries & 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.

Robin,

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 ...

Victoria

Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.