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# Dependent & independent variables

We introduce independent and dependent variables: how to identify the independent/dependent variable in a given setting, and how we write equations with the dependent variable by itself. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• This is confusing
• It depends whether a variable is dependent or independent. In the video, he presents two scenarios:

scenario 1: you want to buy a certain number of apples
scenario 2: you have a limited budget.

In the first scenario, the number of apples (a) is the independent variable, but in the second one it's the total cost (c) since you decide how many apples or how much your budget is, the dependent variable depends on your decision of the independent variable.

Here's another analogy, a dependent variable is like a passenger in a car, and an independent variable is like the driver. The driver (the independent variable) determines the car's direction and speed, while the passenger (the dependent variable) goes along for the ride. In the same way, the value of the dependent variable depends on the value of the independent variable.
• how did get the apples
• wait, if the independent and dependent variables are interchangeable, how do we know which to label as which (idk if that made sense)?
• Does the independent come before the equal sign or after
(1 vote)
• It depends on which form of equations you are talking about. Often, many forms isolate the dependent variable (which usually ends up on the left side of the equation) such as y=mx+b (linear) or y=ax^2+bx+c (quadratic). Thus, in general the dependent is isolated on the left and the independent is on the right.