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Concept of evenly spaced numbers

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Concept of evenly spaced numbers [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2009, 20:38
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Hello to everybody,

Yesterday I was solving data sufficiency questions. I didn't understand the book's explanation for one of the questions. The question says that we have a set of 5 evenly spaced numbers, and asks for their sum.

The second statement tells us that two of these numbers are negative. Then the book explains that we don't know whether these two numbers are consecutive ones. It says that if we knew that, we could answer the question. I didn't understand the last part. I didn't think it was enough to know that two consecutive numbers were negative in order to answer the question. Can somebody explain please?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Concept of evenly spaced numbers [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2009, 06:09
kg7 wrote:
Hello to everybody,

Yesterday I was solving data sufficiency questions. I didn't understand the book's explanation for one of the questions. The question says that we have a set of 5 evenly spaced numbers, and asks for their sum.

The second statement tells us that two of these numbers are negative. Then the book explains that we don't know whether these two numbers are consecutive ones. It says that if we knew that, we could answer the question. I didn't understand the last part. I didn't think it was enough to know that two consecutive numbers were negative in order to answer the question. Can somebody explain please?

Thanks in advance!


-2,-1,0,1,2 is the ONLY case where you have 2 negative numbers being consecutive - so knowing there are only TWO negative numbers AND consecutive can solve the problem. IF they left the consecutive part out we could have: -10,-5,0,5,10 OR -5,-2,1,4,7 in which there are still two negatives BUT as you can see their sums are not consistent because they are not consecutive. So that's why consecutive is needed to get to the -2,-1,0,1,2 format.
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Re: Concept of evenly spaced numbers   [#permalink] 21 Jul 2009, 06:09
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