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What Is An Impulse Elliott Wave?

This article is to give wave traders a deeper understanding of an impulse wave.  Probably, you thought you know everything
about an impulse wave, but I hope this article will add more to your current knowledge.  Let's get started.

Impulse Wave Generally Speaking

It is either the 1st, third and fifth Elliott wave of a lower or higher degree.
An impulse wave is also a motive wave.
Apart from those three wave, a valid trending price structure that does not violate any Elliott wave rule is an impulse wave.

Literally, an impulse or motive is any wave that is directional and helps the price to rise or decline from a point A to B.
Note that a consolidation or balanced market pattern is not an impulse wave.

Characteristics Of An Impulse Wave

A genuine impulse wave must not break Elliott wave rules relating to the motive waves.

Please check my prior articles on that


One should be able to draw a bullish or bearish channel along an impulse wave.
An impulse wave is usually subdivided into five minor waves that adhere to the Elliott wave principle. 

A genuine bullish impulse wave can easily break resistances ahead.  On the contrary, genuine bearish impulse waves easily break support levels.
A genuine impulse wave is always corrected by a corrective wave. 

The second wave corrects the 1st.  Fourth wave corrects the third wave but the fifth wave is corrected by the first (very early) segment of the corrective phase.

The trending phase that is formed of waves one to five waves is the motive wave therefore it is an impulse wave.  The whole corrective phase corrects the trending phase.  That trending phase will be counted as an impulse wave of the next higher degree ( and so on).

Uncommon Impulse Waves

The uncommon impulse wave are not genuine impulse wave because they do not adhere to the normal Elliott wave rules.  

For example, minor waves A and C of the zigzag pattern are uncommon impulse waves.  The flat correction's C minor wave is an uncommon impulse wave.

Price segments AB and CD of an ABCD chart pattern are uncommon impulse waves or price-action.

Did you ask why they are uncommon impulse wave?

Well, it is because they are fulfilling the same role like a genuine Elliott impulse wave.  They are directional and help to push the price-action from a point A to B.  The main difference between the two types is that the genuine impulse waves have a distinctive structure and must not violate specific Elliott wave rules.

Most uncommon impulse waves are components of a corrective wave.  However, not all uncommon impulse waves necessarily form a corrective wave.


An expert Elliott practitioner masters the corrective waves because he or she wants to trade the next impulse wave.  He that has a better understanding of the impulse wave will trade it more precisely and know when the correction will start.

In my opinion, understanding both the genuine and uncommon impulse waves will make life easy for an Elliott wave analyst.

Thank you for reading.  Please share and bookmark this article if you like it.  I will really appreciate that.

Please post relevant questions and comments at 24Elliottwaves YouTube channel and in due course I will get
back to you.

I wish you the very best.
Happy Trading To All

This article is written by
George Beaulieu
founder of website.