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# Points on the coordinate plane examples

The coordinate plane is a two-dimension surface formed by two number lines. One number line is horizontal and is called the x-axis. The other number line is vertical number line and is called the y-axis. The two axes meet at a point called the origin. We can use the coordinate plane to graph points, lines, and more. Created by Sal Khan and CK-12 Foundation.

## Want to join the conversation?

• why do you have to start with the y axis than the x axis first

• Always start with X then Y I like to think of it alphabetically.
• Is there a reason that we use the "X" axis first?
• Yes. When plotting points, we start with the number we start with (the independent variable, x), then we use the number we end with (the dependent variable, y). The independent variable is always first, so we use the x axis first.
• at about how come Sal only puts four dash marks on his coordinate plane instead of more when he could have easily fit more than that?
• just because he can't fit every single solitary number into one small screen
• Was Descartes the one who taught the convention that the x comes first in (x,y)?

• Rene Descartes is credited for the introduction of Cartesian geometry, so it should be safe to say he is the one who fostered the convention that x comes before y. Also it makes sense since x comes before y in the alphabet.
• why cant the x axis go up and down and why cant the y axis go side to side
• The way that axes work is just our convention. If you want a q-axis and an m-axis, then be my guest. X is usually used to refer to a horizontal direction/motion, and Y refers to vertical. This is just the way some person thought of it, and this is the way we've been doing it for the past hundreds of years.
• why are the quadrants counter clockwise?
• Some of these things are simply named by convention, but I also think it may have something to do with the way that we "sweep out" angle in trigonometry; clockwise from the positive x-axis. I'm not really sure if that's why, but it seems applicable.
• At , are quadrants important?
• Definitely! If you're given a problem, and even in real life, quadrants can help determine that where you plotted the coordinates is correct. It sort of narrows down the options!!
• If I use the Y axis first will I be incorrect or will my number be backward?
• If you use the y-axis first, you will be incorrect and your point will not be plotted correctly. The convention is to always use the x-axis first, followed by the y-axis, when writing or reading coordinates. This is because the x-axis represents the horizontal position of a point, while the y-axis represents the vertical position. If you switch the order, you will end up with a different point on the graph. For example, the point (3, 4) means 3 units to the right and 4 units up from the origin, but the point (4, 3) means 4 units to the right and 3 units up from the origin. These are two different points on the graph. I hope this helps.
• why Are the y axis and the x axis always have to be apart
• Does it matter where we start
• No it does not because you will still get to the same destination
(1 vote)

## Video transcript

What we're going to do in this video is, through a bunch of examples, familiarize ourselves with the x,y-coordinate plane. And first we're going to just look at some points that are already plotted and figure out their coordinates. Then we're going to look at some coordinates and figure out where those points are. Then we'll do one more problem. So let's figure out what are the coordinates of these points? So you have this point right here, A. So its x-coordinate, you can see it right there. You just drop down. Where does it intersect the x-axis? x is equal to 5. So it's the point 5 comma and y is going to be equal to 6. 5 comma 6. Now this point B here, what's the x-coordinate? It is 5 to the left. 5 to the left of the x-axis. This is negative 5. Its x-coordinate is negative 5. y-coordinate is, if you just go straight to the right, you're going to hit y is equal to 5. y is equal 5. Let me switch colors. C. I think you're getting the hang of this. Let's do the y-coordinate first. The y-coordinate is 3. You see that right there. And then the x-coordinate is negative 2. Negative 2. You always put the x-coordinate first. That's just the convention we use. D, x-coordinate negative 2. You see that right there. y-coordinate negative 2, as well. Let me get another color. E, let's do the y-coordinate. We'll figure it out first, but you always have to write it second. It's negative 4. You see that right there, the y-coordinate. The x-coordinate is 3. And then finally, F. The x-coordinate is 2. And the y-coordinate is negative 6. Hopefully that gives you a sense of at least figuring out the coordinates. Now let's go the other way. Let's start with coordinates and figure out where those points are. So you have this first one. I'll do it lowercase case a in parentheses to differentiate it from this uppercase A. So it's at 4 comma 2. x is equal to 4. y is equal to 2. So that's that point right there. Let's do the next one. Let me do it in a color that you'll be able to read. b. x is equal to negative 3. y is equal to 5.5. So you go all the way up to 5.5. y is equal to 5.5. So that is the point lowercase b with parentheses around it. Then c, 4 negative 4. x is equal to 4. y is equal to negative 4. Right over there. And then one last one. I'll do it in orange. d, x is negative 2, y is negative 3. Right there. That's the d with parentheses. And you could have gone the other way. You could have said, hey, y is equal to negative 3. x is equal to negative 2. So you could go to the left and down. Or you could go down and to the left. And you're still going to get to the same point. So hopefully that gives you a good sense of how to figure out coordinates. Or if you're given coordinates, how to figure out where to plot something on the x,y-coordinate plane. Now let's do a slightly more involved problem. So it says the following 3 points are 3 vertices of square A, B, C, D. Plot them on a graph. Then determine what the coordinates of the fourth point, D, would be. All right, let's plot these on a graph, as they tell us to do. All right. That'll be my y-axis. That's my y-axis. The vertical axis. That'll be my x-axis. And let me put some-- let me mark it. So that's x equals 1, 2, 3, 4. This is x is equal to negative 1, negative 2, negative 3, negative 4. That's y is equal to 1, 2, 3, 4. This is y is equal to negative 1, negative 2, negative 3, negative 4. I could write that this y equals 4. This y equals negative 4. x is equal to 4. x is equal to negative 4. And let's see. Let's plot these points. So first, we have the point A is equal to negative 4, negative 4. So we go x is negative 4. And then y is negative 4. So we drop down 4 right there. And that is our point A. Negative 4, negative 4. And just to familiarize yourself with a labeling scheme that you may or may not have seen before, is that people label these sections of the coordinate plane. They call this the first quadrant. They call this the second quadrant. They call this the third quadrant. And they call this the fourth quadrant. And these are just the Roman numerals for I, II, III, and IV, So this point is in the third quadrant. When we looked up at this stuff over here, these points are in the fourth quadrant. These are in the third, second, first. Just an interesting thing to know. Sometimes someone might ask you, what quadrant is that point in? And you just say, OK, I see. If they're both negative, they're going to be in the third quadrant. If just the y is negative, but the x is positive, you're going to be in the fourth. If they're both positive, you're in the first. If y is positive, but x is negative, you're in the second. And we'll talk a little bit about that as we plot these points. So point B, x is positive. It's 1, 2, 3. And y is negative 4. So we drop down here into the fourth quadrant. That is the point B. It's 3, negative 4. So we can already see the bottom of our rectangle that they're talking about, right there. And notice, both of these have the exact same y. They're both at the same level below the x-axis. And then what's the next point? Point C is 3 comma 3. So 3 comma 3. It's in the first quadrant. Both of its coordinates are positive. 3 comma 3. Both x and y are positive. And notice, it's on the same vertical as B. It has the same x value. They both have an x value of 3. So it's right above it. Right above it. Now we have to figure out the last point here. Well, the point is going to have to be on the same vertical as this point. It's going to have to be on the same vertical as this point, which means it's going to have the same x value as this point. So its x value is going to be negative 4. And then it's going to have to be on the same horizontal as this point. It's going to have to be on the same horizontal as that point. So it's going to have to have the same y value at the same height above the x-axis. So it's going to have to be 3. So that is our point D. Notice it's at negative 4, right above A. And it's at y is equal to 3. Right to the left of point C. And we are done.