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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Recognize the relationship between the solutions of an equation and its graph.
  • Graph a linear equation by plotting points.
  • Graph vertical and horizontal lines.

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Evaluate 3 x + 2 when x = −1 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  2. Solve 3 x + 2 y = 12 for y in general.
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .

Recognize the relationship between the solutions of an equation and its graph

In the previous section, we found several solutions to the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 . They are listed in [link] . So, the ordered pairs ( 0 , 3 ) , ( 2 , 0 ) , and ( 1 , 3 2 ) are some solutions to the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 . We can plot these solutions in the rectangular coordinate system as shown in [link] .

3 x + 2 y = 6
x y ( x , y )
0 3 ( 0 , 3 )
2 0 ( 2 , 0 )
1 3 2 ( 1 , 3 2 )
The figure shows four points on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. Dots mark off the four points at (0, 3), (1, three halves), (2, 0), and (4, negative 3). The four points appear to line up along a straight line.

Notice how the points line up perfectly? We connect the points with a line to get the graph of the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 . See [link] . Notice the arrows on the ends of each side of the line. These arrows indicate the line continues.

The figure shows a straight line drawn through four points on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. Dots mark off the four points at (0, 3), (1, three halves), (2, 0), and (4, negative 3). A straight line with a negative slope goes through all four points. The line has arrows on both ends pointing to the edge of the figure. The line is labeled with the equation 3x plus 2y equals 6.

Every point on the line is a solution of the equation. Also, every solution of this equation is a point on this line. Points not on the line are not solutions.

Notice that the point whose coordinates are ( −2 , 6 ) is on the line shown in [link] . If you substitute x = −2 and y = 6 into the equation, you find that it is a solution to the equation.

The figure shows a straight line and two points and on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. Dots mark off the two points and are labeled by the coordinates “(negative 2, 6)” and “(4, 1)”. The straight line goes through the point (negative 2, 6) but does not go through the point (4, 1).
The figure shows a series of equations to check if the ordered pair (negative 2, 6) is a solution to the equation 3x plus 2y equals 6. The first line states “Test (negative 2, 6)”. The negative 2 is colored blue and the 6 is colored red. The second line states the two- variable equation 3x plus 2y equals 6. The third line shows the ordered pair substituted into the two- variable equation resulting in 3(negative 2) plus 2(6) equals 6 where the negative 2 is colored blue to show it is the first component in the ordered pair and the 6 is red to show it is the second component in the ordered pair. The fourth line is the simplified equation negative 6 plus 12 equals 6. The fifth line is the further simplified equation 6equals6. A check mark is written next to the last equation to indicate it is a true statement and show that (negative 2, 6) is a solution to the equation 3x plus 2y equals 6.

So the point ( −2 , 6 ) is a solution to the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 . (The phrase “the point whose coordinates are ( −2 , 6 ) ” is often shortened to “the point ( −2 , 6 ) .”)

The figure shows a series of equations to check if the ordered pair (4, 1) is a solution to the equation 3x plus 2y equals 6. The first line states “What about (4, 1)?”. The 4 is colored blue and the 1 is colored red. The second line states the two- variable equation 3x plus 2y equals 6. The third line shows the ordered pair substituted into the two- variable equation resulting in 3(4) plus 2(1) equals 6 where the 4 is colored blue to show it is the first component in the ordered pair and the 1 is red to show it is the second component in the ordered pair. The fourth line is the simplified equation 12 plus 2 equals 6. A question mark is placed above the equals sign to indicate that it is not known if the equation is true or false. The fifth line is the further simplified statement 14 not equal to 6. A “not equals” sign is written between the two numbers and looks like an equals sign with a forward slash through it.

So ( 4 , 1 ) is not a solution to the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 . Therefore, the point ( 4 , 1 ) is not on the line. See [link] . This is an example of the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The line shows you all the solutions to the equation. Every point on the line is a solution of the equation. And, every solution of this equation is on this line. This line is called the graph of the equation 3 x + 2 y = 6 .

Graph of a linear equation

The graph of a linear equation     A x + B y = C is a line.

  • Every point on the line is a solution of the equation.
  • Every solution of this equation is a point on this line.

The graph of y = 2 x 3 is shown.

The figure shows a straight line on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The straight line has a positive slope and goes through the y-axis at the (0, negative 3). The line is labeled with the equation y equals 2x negative 3.

For each ordered pair, decide:

Is the ordered pair a solution to the equation?
Is the point on the line?

A ( 0 , −3 )  B ( 3 , 3 )  C ( 2 , −3 )  D ( −1 , −5 )

Solution

Substitute the x - and y - values into the equation to check if the ordered pair is a solution to the equation.


  1. The figure shows a series of equations to check if the ordered pairs (0, negative 3), (3, 3), (2, negative 3), and (negative 1, negative 5) are a solutions to the equation y equals 2x negative 3. The first line states the ordered pairs with the labels A: (0, negative 3), B: (3, 3), C: (2, negative 3), and D: (negative 1, negative 5). The first components are colored blue and the second components are colored red. The second line states the two- variable equation y equals 2x minus 3. The third line shows the four ordered pairs substituted into the two- variable equation resulting in four equations. The first equation is negative 3 equals 2(0) minus 3 where the 0 is colored clue and the negative 3 on the left side of the equation is colored red. The second equation is 3 equals 2(3) minus 3 where the 3 in parentheses is colored clue and the 3 on the left side of the equation is colored red. The third equation is negative 3 equals 2(2) minus 3 where the 2 in parentheses is colored clue and the negative 3 on the left side of the equation is colored red. The fourth equation is negative 5 equals 2(negative 1) minus 3 where the negative 1 is colored clue and the negative 5 is colored red. Question marks are placed above all the equal signs to indicate that it is not known if the equations are true or false. The fourth line shows the simplified versions of the four equations. The first is negative 3 equals negative 3 with a check mark indicating (0, negative 3) is a solution. The second is 3 equals 3 with a check mark indicating (3, 3) is a solution. The third is negative 3 not equals 1 indicating (2, negative 3) is not a solution. The fourth is negative 5 equals negative 5 with a check mark indicating (negative 1, negative 5) is a solution.

  2. Plot the points A ( 0 , 3 ) , B ( 3 , 3 ) , C ( 2 , −3 ) , and D ( −1 , −5 ) .
    The figure shows a straight line and four points and on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. Dots mark off the two points and are labeled by the coordinates (negative 1, negative 5), (0, negative 3), (2, negative 3), and (3, 3). The straight line, labeled with the equation y equals 2x negative 3 goes through the three points (negative 1, negative 5), (0, negative 3), and (3, 3) but does not go through the point (2, negative 3).

The points ( 0 , 3 ) , ( 3 , 3 ) , and ( −1 , −5 ) are on the line y = 2 x 3 , and the point ( 2 , −3 ) is not on the line.

The points that are solutions to y = 2 x 3 are on the line, but the point that is not a solution is not on the line.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!
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Use the graph of y = 3 x 1 to decide whether each ordered pair is:

  • a solution to the equation.
  • on the line.

( 0 , −1 ) ( 2 , 5 )

The figure shows a straight line on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The straight line goes through the point (negative 2, negative 7) and for every 3 units it goes up, it goes one unit to the right. The line is labeled with the equation y equals 3x minus 1.

yes, yes  yes, yes

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Use graph of y = 3 x 1 to decide whether each ordered pair is:

  • a solution to the equation
  • on the line

( 3 , −1 ) ( −1 , −4 )

The figure shows a straight line on the x y-coordinate plane. The x-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The y-axis of the plane runs from negative 7 to 7. The straight line goes through the point (negative 2, negative 7) and for every 3 units it goes up, it goes one unit to the right. The line is labeled with the equation y equals 3x minus 1.

no, no  yes, yes

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Graph a linear equation by plotting points

There are several methods that can be used to graph a linear equation. The method we used to graph 3 x + 2 y = 6 is called plotting points, or the Point–Plotting Method.

Questions & Answers

Three-fourths of the people at a concert are children. If there are 87 children, what is the total number of people at the concert?
Tsimmuaj Reply
Erica earned a total of $50,450 last year from her two jobs. The amount she earned from her job at the store was $1,250 more than four times the amount she earned from her job at the college. How much did she earn from her job at the college?
Tsimmuaj
Erica earned a total of $50,450 last year from her two jobs. The amount she earned from her job at the store was $1,250 more than four times the amount she earned from her job at the college. How much did she earn from her job at the college?
Tsimmuaj
? Is there anything wrong with this passage I found the total sum for 2 jobs, but found why elaborate on extra If I total one week from the store *4 would = the month than the total is = x than x can't calculate 10 month of a year
candido
what would be wong
candido
87 divided by 3 then multiply that by 4. 116 people total.
Melissa
the actual number that has 3 out of 4 of a whole pie
candido
was having a hard time finding
Teddy
use Matrices for the 2nd question
Daniel
One number is 11 less than the other number. If their sum is increased by 8, the result is 71. Find the numbers.
Tsimmuaj Reply
26 + 37 = 63 + 8 = 71
gayla
Amara currently sells televisions for company A at a salary of $17,000 plus a $100 commission for each television she sells. Company B offers her a position with a salary of $29,000 plus a $20 commission for each television she sells. How televisions would Amara need to sell for the options to be equal?
Tsimmuaj Reply
yes math
Kenneth
company A 13 company b 5. A 17,000+13×100=29,100 B 29,000+5×20=29,100
gayla
DaMarcus and Fabian live 23 miles apart and play soccer at a park between their homes. DaMarcus rode his bike for 34 of an hour and Fabian rode his bike for 12 of an hour to get to the park. Fabian’s speed was 6 miles per hour faster than DaMarcus’s speed. Find the speed of both soccer players.
gustavo Reply
?
Ann
DaMarcus: 16 mi/hr Fabian: 22 mi/hr
Sherman
Joy is preparing 20 liters of a 25% saline solution. She has only a 40% solution and a 10% solution in her lab. How many liters of the 40% solution and how many liters of the 10% solution should she mix to make the 25% solution?
Wenda Reply
15 and 5
32 is 40% , & 8 is 10 % , & any 4 letters is 5%.
Karen
It felt that something is missing on the question like: 40% of what solution? 10% of what solution?
Jhea
its confusing
Sparcast
3% & 2% to complete the 25%
Sparcast
because she already has 20 liters.
Sparcast
ok I was a little confused I agree 15% & 5%
Sparcast
8,2
Karen
Jim and Debbie earned $7200. Debbie earned $1600 more than Jim earned. How much did they earned
Arleathia Reply
5600
Gloria
1600
Gloria
Bebbie: 4,400 Jim: 2,800
Jhea
A river cruise boat sailed 80 miles down the Mississippi River for 4 hours. It took 5 hours to return. Find the rate of the cruise boat in still water and the rate of the current.
Sunnyshay Reply
A veterinarian is enclosing a rectangular outdoor running area against his building for the dogs he cares for. He needs to maximize the area using 100 feet of fencing. The quadratic equation A=x(100−2x) gives the area, A , of the dog run for the length, x , of the building that will border the dog run. Find the length of the building that should border the dog run to give the maximum area, and then find the maximum area of the dog run.
Elizabeth Reply
ggfcc
Mike
Washing his dad’s car alone, eight year old Levi takes 2.5 hours. If his dad helps him, then it takes 1 hour. How long does it take the Levi’s dad to wash the car by himself?
Gagan Reply
1,75hrs
Mike
I'm going to guess. Divide Levi's time by 2. Then divide 1 hour by 2. 1.25 + 0.5 = 1.3?
John
Oops I mean 1.75
John
I'm guessing this because since I have divide 1 hour by 2, I have to do the same for the 2.5 hours it takes Levi by himself.
John
1,75 hrs is correct Mike
Emund
How did you come up with the answer?
John
Drew burned 1,800 calories Friday playing 1 hour of basketball and canoeing for 2 hours. On Saturday, he spent 2 hours playing basketball and 3 hours canoeing and burned 3,200 calories. How many calories did he burn per hour when playing basketball?
Marie Reply
Brandon has a cup of quarters and dimes with a total value of $3.80. The number of quarters is four less than twice the number of dimes. How many quarters and how many dimes does Brandon have?
Kendra Reply
Tickets to a Broadway show cost $35 for adults and $15 for children. The total receipts for 1650 tickets at one performance were $47,150. How many adult and how many child tickets were sold?
dana Reply
825
Carol
Arnold invested $64,000, some at 5.5% interest and the rest at 9%. How much did he invest at each rate if he received $4,500 in interest in one year? How do I do this
Tanesia Reply
how to square
Fiona Reply
easiest way to find the square root of a large number?
Jackie
the accompanying figure shows known flow rates of hydrocarbons into and out of a network of pipes at an oil refinery set up a linear system whose solution provides the unknown flow rates (b) solve the system for the unknown flow rates (c) find the flow rates and directions of flow if x4=50and x6=0
Sabee Reply
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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