Definition of Successor and Predecessor in Math

Definition of Successor and Predecessor in Math
••• Rawpixel/iStock/GettyImages

In math, the terms successor and predecessor refer to the numbers directly after or directly before a given number, respectively. To find the successor of a given whole number, add one to the given number. To find the predecessor of a given whole number, subtract one from the given number.


Suppose that the given number is 18. Its successor is 19, and its predecessor is 17. If the given number were 226, it would have a successor of 227 and a predecessor of 225. Additionally, if x is the successor of y, then y is the predecessor of x. For instance, 80 is the successor of 79, so therefore 79 is the predecessor of 80.

Whole Numbers

The terms successor and predecessor apply only to whole numbers—that is, zero, one, two, three and so on; they do not apply to fractions, decimals or negative numbers. Every whole number has a successor. With the exception of zero, every whole number also has a predecessor.

Related Articles

How to Factor Monomials
How to Simplify Exponents
How to Write a Repeating Decimal As a Fraction
How to Find the Inverse of a Given Number
How to Calculate the Midpoint Between Two Numbers
How to Divide Rational Numbers
How to Calculate a Sigma Value
How to Find a Fraction of a Number
How to Find the Geometric Sequence
How to Calculate Arctan
How to Find the Line of Symmetry in a Quadratic Equation
How to Find All The Factors of a Number Quickly and...
The Four Types of Multiplication Properties
How to Find Y Value for the Slope of a Line
How to Calculate Moles from Molecular Weight
How to Identify a Numerical Coefficient of a Term
How to Convert a Fraction to a Ratio
How to Factorise a Quadratic Expression
Endpoint Math Formula
How to Solve an Arithmetic Sequence Problem With Variable...