# Math Help - sum of arithmetic sequence

1. ## sum of arithmetic sequence

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong subforum, I am not sure where to put it. But I searched this topic and saw others posting in pre-calc so im posting this here.

Given the arithmetic sequence $-5,a_1,a_2, ... ,a_n,15$, and the sum of its first $n+2$ terms is $100$, find $n$.

$S=\frac{(n+2)(-5+15)}{2}=5n+10=100$
$\therefore n=18$

My question is this:
the $\frac{(n+2)(-5+15)}{2}$ part is from $\frac{n(a+l)}{2}$, where $n$ is the number of terms, $a$ is the first term and $l$ is the last term.

In this case, for the sum of $n+2$ terms, the last term is the $(n+2)_t_h$term. the answer uses $15$, which is the $(n+1)_t_h$ term, since it's directly after the $n_t_h$ term. it's not the $(n+2)_t_h$ term.

why is it like that? did i misunderstand something??

2. ## Re: sum of arithmetic sequence

$15$ is the $(n+2)$th term because $-5$ is the first term, $a_1$ the second, ..., $a_n$ is the $(n+1)$th term, hence $15$ is the $(n+2)$th term.

3. ## Re: sum of arithmetic sequence

Originally Posted by muddywaters
Given the arithmetic sequence $-5,a_1,a_2, ... ,a_n,15$, and the sum of its first $n+2$ terms is $100$, find $n$.
My question is this:
the $\frac{(n+2)(-5+15)}{2}$ part is from $\frac{n(a+l)}{2}$, where $n$ is the number of terms, $a$ is the first term and $l$ is the last term.
In this case, for the sum of $n+2$ terms, the last term is the $(n+2)_t_h$term. the answer uses $15$, which is the $(n+1)_t_h$ term, since it's directly after the $n_t_h$ term. it's not the $(n+2)_t_h$ term. why is it like that? did i misunderstand something??
In the sequence $-5,a_1,a_2, ... ,a_n,15$ there are $(n+2)$ terms.
The first term is $-5$.
The second term is $a_1$.
$\;~\;~ \vdots$
The last term is $15$.