# How do I describe this pattern: B-R-G-B-R-G-B.... (In the same sense as "B-R-B-R-B..." is "alternating")?

Consider the following patterns of colored squares:

Courtesy: MS Paint application

I can't seem to find a word (phrase?) to describe the pattern observed in the third row.

• The first row has consecutive blue squares.

• The second row has alternating blue squares.

• The third row has _______________ blue squares.

Does such a word describing the third pattern (preferably, in terms of "blue") exist?

Or should I use some phrase instead? And what phrase?

• There is no such term because your pattern is not simple alternation but cyclic. You would have to describe the pattern. A blue square alternating with a pair of squares, one of them red, the other green, in that order.
– TimR
Sep 22, 2017 at 11:14
• Notice how the statement refers to itself: "... in that order". Which is to say, "in the order in which they were just now presented".
– TimR
Sep 22, 2017 at 11:24

You can call them regularly spaced blue squares.

regularly adverb With a constant or definite pattern, especially with the same space between individual items. ‘regularly spaced buildings’ - ODO

Note that talking about regularly spaced blue squares says nothing about the order of the red and green squares.

Here's an example of the term used in the context of having other things in the spaces between pairs of regularly spaced pixels (emphasis, mine):

Applying spatial offset, the green sensor is moved one-half pixel out of alignment with respect to the blue and red targets. The strategy is intended to capture detail that would otherwise fall inside the grid, i.e. between the regularly spaced pixels. - Video Shooter: Storytelling with DV, HD, and HDV Cameras by Barry Braveman

• "Note that talking about regularly spaced blue squares says nothing about the order of the red and green squares." I don't mind if there's no reference to the nature (i.e- color) of the squares between the blues... I'm looking for a word/phrase that would mean "blues repeat after an interval of 2 squares" (<----- A phrase other than this one) Thanks! Sep 23, 2017 at 4:06

The third row has a repeating pattern of blue, red and green squares.

You just have to determine what the pattern is (in your example blue-red-green).

Unfortunately you can't "describe the pattern observed in the third row" by only mentioning the blue squares.

Edit:

Based on your comment, if we are considering only the blue squares (the others being irrelevant), you might say:

Every third square is blue.

• "Unfortunately you can't "describe the pattern observed in the third row" by only mentioning the blue squares." Hmm.. but what if I wasn't bothered about what constituted (red and green in this case) the squares between the blues? I guess I could reduce the pattern to B-R-R-B-R-R-B- , since all I really care for are the blues, the reds and greens (the "not blues" if you will) don't have to figure in the description. Should I edit my question to include this? Thanks! Sep 23, 2017 at 4:03

There are a couple words that can be used to describe the pattern on the third row:

Array: An ordered series or arrangement. "The array of blinking green lights flashed happily in the darkened server room."

Series: A particular order in which related events, movements, or things follow each other. "The series of colored boxes followed a regular pattern of blue, red, and green."