Cartesian coordinate system
A Cartesian coordinate system, also known as rectangular coordinate system, can be used to plot points and graph lines. The following is an example of rectangular coordinate system
It is basically, a set of two number lines
The horizontal line is called xaxis and the vertical line is called yaxis
A good real life example of a vertical number line or yaxis is a thermometer.
Notice that it has 4 quadrants.
In quadrant I, x and y are positive
In quadrant II, x is negative, but y is positive
In quadrant III, x and y are negative
In quadrant IV, x is positive, but y is negative
The center, or intersection of the two axis is equal to (0,0)
In this lesson, you will learn to plot points on the cartesian coordinate system.
A point is represented by a pair of numbers (x, y)
x stands for any value on the xaxis and y stands for any value on the yaxis
An example of a point is (1, 5)
Let us now plot some points.
Locate point (2,3).
x = 2 and y = 3
Draw a vertical line at x = 2 and draw a horizontal line at y = 3
Where the two lines meet or intersect, is your point (in red)
Locate point (3, 1)
Draw a vertical line at x = 3 and draw a horizontal line at y = 1
The intersection of the two lines is your point
Locate point (4, 4)
Draw a vertical line at x = 4 and draw a horizontal line at y = 4
Tricky cases are when points are located on the xaxis or the yaxis.
Students usually get confused, so study the following two examples carefully
Locate point (2,0)
Draw a vertical line at x = 2 and draw a horizontal line at y = 0.
Notice that when y = 0, your horizontal line is on the xaxis
Important point to remember:
When y = 0, your point is always located on the xaxis
Locate point (0, 3)
Draw a vertical line at x = 0 and draw a horizontal line at y = 3.
Notice that when x = 0, your vertical line is on the xaxis
Important point to remember:
When x = 0, your point is always located on the yaxis
Other examples:
Take the quiz below about Cartesian coordinate system

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