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Adding two numbers together is easy to do, but adding a range of numbers is more complicated. In the following example, recursion is used to add a range of numbers together by breaking it down into the simple task of adding two numbers:
Example
int sum(int k) {
if (k > 0) {
return k + sum(k  1);
} else {
return 0;
}
}
int main() {
int result = sum(10);
cout << result;
return 0;
}
When the sum() function is called, it adds parameter k to the sum of all numbers smaller than k and returns the result. When k becomes 0, the function just returns 0. When running, the program follows these steps:
10 + sum(9)
10 + ( 9 + sum(8) )
10 + ( 9 + ( 8 + sum(7) ) )
...
10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 + sum(0)
10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 0
Since the function does not call itself when k is 0, the program stops there and returns the result.
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