Main content

### Course: Algebra II (2018 edition) > Unit 6

Lesson 9: Graphs of rational functions- Graphing rational functions according to asymptotes
- Graphs of rational functions: y-intercept
- Graphs of rational functions: horizontal asymptote
- Graphs of rational functions: vertical asymptotes
- Graphs of rational functions: zeros
- Graphs of rational functions
- Graphs of rational functions (old example)
- Graphing rational functions 1
- Graphing rational functions 2
- Graphing rational functions 3
- Graphing rational functions 4

© 2024 Khan AcademyTerms of usePrivacy PolicyCookie Notice

# Graphs of rational functions (old example)

Sal matches three graphs of rational functions to three formulas of such functions by considering asymptotes and intercepts. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

- What about seeing what everything evaluates to for a given
`x`

where they're all obviously different? (Like`x=0`

here.) Any other ways to solve it?(6 votes)- I used this approach as well. Having eliminated f(x), I noticed that g(x) was -h(x), which is clear from the graphs, as well. So considering any point where they are non-0 will identify which is which.(4 votes)

- What other types of graphs do we use asymptotes for?(3 votes)
- Inverse variation, logarithmic functions, hyperbolas, and exponential functions.(7 votes)

- I don't understand this video. The whole as x>to infinity is confusing(4 votes)
- It was introduced in earlier videos. Maybe it would help is you reviewed them? (And ask questions there if you have any. And here too.)(3 votes)

- how do you know when the formula for the functions gives you the y asymptote or x asymptote(3 votes)
- The horizontal asymptote is when the numerator divided by the denominator approaches infinity while the vertical asymptote is when the denominator is set to zero.(3 votes)

- how do we find the zeros in the graph when we have the least common factor?(2 votes)
- The L.C.M of the denominator will help you to find the vertical asymptote of the curve as when the denominator takes that value of x, the y will be infinite.(1 vote)

- How would you solve for the Slope Asymptotes?(2 votes)
- Short answer: carry out polynomial long division§. The remainder will go to zero as x goes to ∞ and so the quotient gives you the equation for the asymptote.

e.g.`f(x) = (x³ - 3x - 9) / (x² + 9)`

= x + [(-12x - 9) / (x² + 9)]

Therefore the slope asymptote is the equation y=x

This page has a reasonable description of how to do this:

http://www.purplemath.com/modules/asymtote3.htm

§If you aren't sure how to do polynomial long division:

(https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra2/arithmetic-with-polynomials/long-division-of-polynomials/v/polynomial-division)(1 vote)

- At1:16Sal says that in order to have a vertical asymptote "it cannot be defined there. " What does he mean by this? What is he referring to as it? Why can "it" not be defined?(1 vote)
- what if 2 different functions have the same asymptotes and are equal to 0 at the same x value? How would you tell which is which?

Would you just test it at a region around where the functions are equal to 0 or is there a better way?(1 vote)- You could simply test an x where the y values are different (See the top question).(2 votes)

- How do you graph a rational function without a calculator when given an equation?(1 vote)
- Figure it's zeros, asymptotes, and end behavior. Then, using that as a guide, plot a few points until you can draw a decent graph.(2 votes)

- How do key features work here? Domain? Range? Intervals of Increase? Decrease? Max? Min? x-intercepts? y-intercept?(1 vote)

## Video transcript

Voiceover:So, we've got
three functions graphed here. The function f in magenta. We have the function
g in this green color. And we have the function h
in this dotted purple color. And then we have three
potential expressions, or three expressions that could be potential definitions, for f, g, and h. And what I want to do in this
video, is try to match them, try to match the function to a definition. I encourage you to pause this video and try to think about it on your own before I work through it. There's a couple of ways
that we could approach this. One, we could think about what the graphs of each of these look like,
and then think about which of these function's graphs look like that. Or, we could we could
look at the function graph and think about the vertical
and horizontal asymptotes, and think about which of
these expressions would have a vertical or horizontal
asymptotes at that point. So, I'm actually going
to do it the second way. Let's look at the graphs. I tend to be a little bit more visual, or I like to look at graphs. So it looks like - f, I'll start with f. f looks like it has a vertical
asymptote at x equals 5. Or, sorry, at x equals negative 5. We have a vertical
asymptote right over here, at x is equal to negative five. Let's think about which of these would have a vertical asymptote
at x equals negative 5. In order to have a vertical asymptote, it can't be defined there. So that'sthe first way
I would think about it. And then even if isn't defined there, we need to make sure that it's
an actual vertical asymptote, and not just a hole at that point, not just a point discontinuity. So, let's think about it. So, this first expression
is actually defined at x equals negative 5. The only reason why it
wouldn't be defined, if somehow we got a 0 in the denominator. But if you have negative 5 minus 5, that's negative 10. So this one's defined at
that point, so that's not f. This one's also defined
at x equals negative 5. The denominator does not
become 0, so that's not f. This one, when x is equal to negative 5, this denominator does become 0. So this seems, I just used
purely deductive reasoning, this looks like my best
candidate for f of x. But let's confirm that it's consistent with the other things that
we're seeing over here. So, let's look at f's
horizontal asymptote. If I look at the graph, it looks like there's
a horizontal asymptote. Especially as x gets to
larger and larger values, it looks like f of x is approaching 1. f of x is approaching 1. Now, is that the same case over here? As x gets larger and larger and larger, as x approaches infinity, well, then the negative 2
and the plus 5 don't matter. As x approaches infinity,
this is going to approximate, for very large x's, it's
going to be x over x. We look at the highest degree terms, and so that is going to approach 1, as x gets very very very large. Then the negative two,
subtracting the 2 in the numerator and adding 5 in the denominator are going to matter
less and less and less, because the x gets so big. So, this will approach 1. So, that seems consistent
from that point of view. And let's see, is there
anything else interesting? Well, when does this equal 0? Well, the numerator equals
0 when x is equal to 2. And we see that's indeed the
case for f right over there. So, I'm feeling really good
that this is our f of x. Now, let's look at g of x. g of x has, and actually they're
trying to trip us up here, because it looks like both h and g of x, have a vertical asymptote
at x is equal to 5. So the vertical asymptote isn't what's going to help us
resolve between g and h. Did I just say g and f? g and h both have a vertical
asymptote at x equals 5. And you see that over here. At x equals 5, both of them are undefined. When x equals 5, both of
their denominators are 0. So, let's see if the horizontal
asymptotes could help us. So, it looks like g has
a horizontal asymptote at y equals negative 2. y equals negative 2. if x becomes very
positive or very negative, it looks like y is approaching negative 2. So, what's happening up
here, for this top one? Well, if we expand out the numerator, this is equal to 2 x
minus 12, over x minus 5. For very large x's the negative 12 and the negative 5 aren't
going to matter as much. So this is, for very very large x's, this is going to be
approximately 2 x over x. Let me make it very clear, for, maybe I'll write, "as
x approaches infinity." And 2 x over x would be 2, would be approximately equal
to 2 as x approaches infinity. g's asymptote isn't at
2, it's at negative 2. h's asymptote's the one
that looks like it's at 2. At y equals 2. So this top one looks like h of x. This top one looks like at h of x. And we can confirm that. When would h of x equal 0? Well, the numerator
equals 0 when x equals 6, and we see it right over here. Now, that might not
have helped us that much because g also equals 0 at six, but at least the horizontal asymptotes is what is cluing us in. As x gets really really really large, then the negative, subtracting
the 12 in the numerator, subtracting the 5 in the denominator, are going to matter
less and less and less. We want to look at the
highest degree terms. It's going to approach
2 x over x, which is 2. And we see that for h. Now, g, if we just use
our deductive reasoning, we'd say "okay, well,
hopefully this is our g of x." Now does this make sense? g of x is equal to 12
minus 2 x, over x minus 5. Which is approximately
going to be equal to, we look at the highest degree terms, negative 2 x over x, as x approaches infinity. Which is going to be equal to, or we're going to approach negative 2. And that is indeed where
g's horizontal asymptote is. As x gets very very large,
we approach negative 2, or frankly as x gets very very small, we're also going to approach negative 2. Negative 2 times the negative billion over a negative billion is
also going to be negative 2. So, we can feel pretty good
that this is our g of x.