How can I express in standard American English that events occur "every X days" or end "after X occurrences" — here, "X" is a placeholder for a variable and unknown quantity — without using "X" or another single-character term?

I considered using the phrase "every so many days" or "after so many occurrences", but I fear that this is a colloquialism that may not be clear to all concerned.

The context is a set of web form drop-down menus in which we allow people to choose the basis for how they schedule recurring events. I've looked at how standard calendaring software handles this, but their solutions are not ideal for persons with low vision or blindness.

Menu options Other menu options

4 Answers 4


given number of


specified number of

after a given number of days

every specified number of days

  • I'll be going with "given number of". Thank you!!! Jan 27, 2016 at 20:49

I would suggest number of.

To use it your example: "Every (number of) days". This lets the user know you are looking for an integer and is more than a single letter.


What about n:

  • [U] specialized mathematics used more ​generally to ​represent a ​number that is not ​known or ​exact.
  • every n days
  • after n occurrences

Ngram: every n days - after n weeks

  • I concede that this addresses the issue as it was originally posed. However, I'm looking for something a little more elegant (prosaic?) than a single-character term. (Post has been updated.) Jan 27, 2016 at 19:22

Have you considered using underscores?

For example: "Every ____ days"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.