<b>WAVE FUNCTION </b>Elliott wave
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Every wave serves one of two functions: <i>action </i>or <i>reaction</i>. Specifically, a wave may either advance the cause of the wave of one larger degree or interrupt it. The function of a wave is determined by its <i>relative direction</i>. An <i>actionary </i>or <i>trend </i>wave is any wave that trends in the <i>same </i>direction as the wave of one larger degree of which it is a part. A <i>reactionary </i>or <i>countertrend </i>wave is any wave that trends in the direction <i>opposite </i>to that of the wave of one larger degree of which it is part. Actionary waves are labeled with <i>odd </i>numbers and letters. Reactionary waves are labeled with even numbers and letters.
All reactionary waves develop in corrective mode. If all actionary waves developed in motive mode, then there would be no need for different terms. Indeed, most actionary waves do subdivide into five waves. However, as the following sections reveal, a few actionary waves develop in corrective mode, i.e., they subdivide into <i>three </i>waves or a variation thereof. A detailed knowledge of pattern construction is required before one can draw the distinction between <i>actionary </i>function and <i>motive </i>mode, which in the underlying model introduced so far are indistinct. A thorough understanding of the forms detailed in the next five lessons will clarify why we have introduced these terms to the Elliott Wave lexicon.
<b>Lesson 4: Motive Waves </b>
Motive waves subdivide into <i>five </i>waves with certain characteristics and always move in the same direction as the trend of one larger degree. They are straightforward and relatively easy to recognize and interpret.
Within motive waves, wave 2 never retraces more than 100% of wave 1, and wave 4 never retraces more than 100% of wave 3. Wave 3, moreover, always travels beyond the end of wave 1. The goal of a motive wave is to make progress, and these rules of formation assure that it will.
Elliott further discovered that in <i>price </i>terms, wave 3 is often the longest and never the shortest among the three actionary waves (1, 3 and 5) of a motive wave. As long as wave 3 undergoes a greater percentage movement than either wave 1 or 5, this rule is satisfied. It almost always holds on an arithmetic basis as well. There are two types of motive waves: <i>impulses </i>and <i>diagonal triangles</i>
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