# I need help on this,basic stuff

## Main Question or Discussion Point

let * be either + or - ( you can use both of them)

then let 1*2*3*4*..............*2004*2005*2006

The question is this, what would be the smallest natural number that you would get, after you do the neccessary calculations?

here is what i did:

(2006-2005)-(2004-2003)-...........-(4-3)+(2-1)=1

so can anyone please comment on my approach?

thnx

matt grime
Homework Helper
Such as what? 1 is the smallest natural number for most people (for some it is 0). Though I don't think you have the minus signs quite right. What you've written appears to go, after simplifying brackets

1-1-...-1+1, which is really about -998. But you have a good idea.

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what if i go like this then:
(2006-2005)-(2004-2003)+(2002-2001)-(2000-1999)+...............+(6-5)-(4-3)+(2-1)=1

But how would know whether 1 or zero or any other result is the right answer

1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+......+1-1+1=1

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matt grime
Homework Helper
You're asked to find the smallest natural number. Since you can find 1, and that is commonly taken to be the smallest natural number, then what is it you want to ask?

i want to know that, how can i be sure that my way of solving the problem is correct, and ishould not approach the problem differently instead?
thnx

matt grime