What does the variableusually represent in mathematics?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What does the variable n in mathematics usually mean?

The variable can mean many things.  

1)  Maybe the variable is used in an equation only to represent an unknown, such as:  `10 = 6n+4`

2)  The variable "n" can often be used to represent a number, or element in a sequence.  Often written as 

`a(n) = 4n+5 `

represents an arithmetic sequence of values where n represents the number of the element.


3) It is also used to represent integer elements of a set. So the set of even numbers has elements n= 2, n= 4, n=6, etc.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Are you a teacher? Sign up now