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Graph f ( x ) = 3 4 x + 6 by plotting points.

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Graphing a function using y- Intercept and slope

Another way to graph linear functions is by using specific characteristics of the function rather than plotting points. The first characteristic is its y- intercept, which is the point at which the input value is zero. To find the y- intercept , we can set x = 0 in the equation.

The other characteristic of the linear function is its slope m , which is a measure of its steepness. Recall that the slope is the rate of change of the function. The slope of a function is equal to the ratio of the change in outputs to the change in inputs. Another way to think about the slope is by dividing the vertical difference, or rise, by the horizontal difference, or run. We encountered both the y- intercept and the slope in Linear Functions .

Let’s consider the following function.

f ( x ) = 1 2 x + 1

The slope is 1 2 . Because the slope is positive, we know the graph will slant upward from left to right. The y- intercept is the point on the graph when x = 0. The graph crosses the y -axis at ( 0 , 1 ) . Now we know the slope and the y -intercept. We can begin graphing by plotting the point ( 0 , 1 ) We know that the slope is rise over run, m = rise run . From our example, we have m = 1 2 , which means that the rise is 1 and the run is 2. So starting from our y -intercept ( 0 , 1 ) , we can rise 1 and then run 2, or run 2 and then rise 1. We repeat until we have a few points, and then we draw a line through the points as shown in [link] .

Graphical interpretation of a linear function

In the equation f ( x ) = m x + b

  • b is the y -intercept of the graph and indicates the point ( 0 , b ) at which the graph crosses the y -axis.
  • m is the slope of the line and indicates the vertical displacement (rise) and horizontal displacement (run) between each successive pair of points. Recall the formula for the slope:
m = change in output (rise) change in input (run) = Δ y Δ x = y 2 y 1 x 2 x 1

Do all linear functions have y -intercepts?

Yes. All linear functions cross the y-axis and therefore have y-intercepts. (Note: A vertical line parallel to the y-axis does not have a y-intercept, but it is not a function. )

Given the equation for a linear function, graph the function using the y -intercept and slope.

  1. Evaluate the function at an input value of zero to find the y- intercept.
  2. Identify the slope as the rate of change of the input value.
  3. Plot the point represented by the y- intercept.
  4. Use rise run to determine at least two more points on the line.
  5. Sketch the line that passes through the points.

Graphing by using the y- Intercept and slope

Graph f ( x ) = 2 3 x + 5 using the y- intercept and slope.

Evaluate the function at x = 0 to find the y- intercept. The output value when x = 0 is 5, so the graph will cross the y -axis at ( 0 , 5 ) .

According to the equation for the function, the slope of the line is 2 3 . This tells us that for each vertical decrease in the “rise” of 2 units, the “run” increases by 3 units in the horizontal direction. We can now graph the function by first plotting the y -intercept on the graph in [link] . From the initial value ( 0 , 5 ) we move down 2 units and to the right 3 units. We can extend the line to the left and right by repeating, and then draw a line through the points.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!
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Questions & Answers

can I get some pretty basic questions
Ama Reply
In what way does set notation relate to function notation
Ama
is precalculus needed to take caculus
Amara Reply
It depends on what you already know. Just test yourself with some precalculus questions. If you find them easy, you're good to go.
Spiro
the solution doesn't seem right for this problem
Mars Reply
what is the domain of f(x)=x-4/x^2-2x-15 then
Conney Reply
x is different from -5&3
Seid
how to prroved cos⁴x-sin⁴x= cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
Don't think that you can.
Elliott
how do you provided cos⁴x-sin⁴x = cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
What are the question marks for?
Elliott
Someone should please solve it for me Add 2over ×+3 +y-4 over 5 simplify (×+a)with square root of two -×root 2 all over a multiply 1over ×-y{(×-y)(×+y)} over ×y
Abena Reply
For the first question, I got (3y-2)/15 Second one, I got Root 2 Third one, I got 1/(y to the fourth power) I dont if it's right cause I can barely understand the question.
Is under distribute property, inverse function, algebra and addition and multiplication function; so is a combined question
Abena
find the equation of the line if m=3, and b=-2
Ashley Reply
graph the following linear equation using intercepts method. 2x+y=4
Ashley
how
Wargod
what?
John
ok, one moment
UriEl
how do I post your graph for you?
UriEl
it won't let me send an image?
UriEl
also for the first one... y=mx+b so.... y=3x-2
UriEl
y=mx+b you were already given the 'm' and 'b'. so.. y=3x-2
Tommy
Please were did you get y=mx+b from
Abena
y=mx+b is the formula of a straight line. where m = the slope & b = where the line crosses the y-axis. In this case, being that the "m" and "b", are given, all you have to do is plug them into the formula to complete the equation.
Tommy
thanks Tommy
Nimo
0=3x-2 2=3x x=3/2 then . y=3/2X-2 I think
Given
co ordinates for x x=0,(-2,0) x=1,(1,1) x=2,(2,4)
neil
"7"has an open circle and "10"has a filled in circle who can I have a set builder notation
Fiston Reply
x=-b+_Гb2-(4ac) ______________ 2a
Ahlicia Reply
I've run into this: x = r*cos(angle1 + angle2) Which expands to: x = r(cos(angle1)*cos(angle2) - sin(angle1)*sin(angle2)) The r value confuses me here, because distributing it makes: (r*cos(angle2))(cos(angle1) - (r*sin(angle2))(sin(angle1)) How does this make sense? Why does the r distribute once
Carlos Reply
so good
abdikarin
this is an identity when 2 adding two angles within a cosine. it's called the cosine sum formula. there is also a different formula when cosine has an angle minus another angle it's called the sum and difference formulas and they are under any list of trig identities
Brad
strategies to form the general term
carlmark
consider r(a+b) = ra + rb. The a and b are the trig identity.
Mike
How can you tell what type of parent function a graph is ?
Mary Reply
generally by how the graph looks and understanding what the base parent functions look like and perform on a graph
William
if you have a graphed line, you can have an idea by how the directions of the line turns, i.e. negative, positive, zero
William
y=x will obviously be a straight line with a zero slope
William
y=x^2 will have a parabolic line opening to positive infinity on both sides of the y axis vice versa with y=-x^2 you'll have both ends of the parabolic line pointing downward heading to negative infinity on both sides of the y axis
William
y=x will be a straight line, but it will have a slope of one. Remember, if y=1 then x=1, so for every unit you rise you move over positively one unit. To get a straight line with a slope of 0, set y=1 or any integer.
Aaron
yes, correction on my end, I meant slope of 1 instead of slope of 0
William
what is f(x)=
Karim Reply
I don't understand
Joe
Typically a function 'f' will take 'x' as input, and produce 'y' as output. As 'f(x)=y'. According to Google, "The range of a function is the complete set of all possible resulting values of the dependent variable (y, usually), after we have substituted the domain."
Thomas
Sorry, I don't know where the "Â"s came from. They shouldn't be there. Just ignore them. :-)
Thomas
GREAT ANSWER THOUGH!!!
Darius
Thanks.
Thomas
Â
Thomas
It is the  that should not be there. It doesn't seem to show if encloses in quotation marks. "Â" or 'Â' ... Â
Thomas
Now it shows, go figure?
Thomas
what is this?
unknown Reply
i do not understand anything
unknown
lol...it gets better
Darius
I've been struggling so much through all of this. my final is in four weeks 😭
Tiffany
this book is an excellent resource! have you guys ever looked at the online tutoring? there's one that is called "That Tutor Guy" and he goes over a lot of the concepts
Darius
thank you I have heard of him. I should check him out.
Tiffany
is there any question in particular?
Joe
I have always struggled with math. I get lost really easy, if you have any advice for that, it would help tremendously.
Tiffany
Sure, are you in high school or college?
Darius
Hi, apologies for the delayed response. I'm in college.
Tiffany
how to solve polynomial using a calculator
Ef Reply
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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