abbracciopj

2022-06-24

How do you know which variable is the "x" and the "y"?

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Marlee Guerra

Expert

If you are talking about determining ordered pairs to be graphed, the variable that is under your control is the x variable. It is called the independent variable. The variable that results from the independent variable is the y variable. It is called the dependent variable because its value is dependent on the independent variable.
Take for example the equation $y={x}^{2}$. The values that you input for x will determine the values of y. So x is the independent variable and y is the dependent variable.
The same would be true if the equation was $b={a}^{2}$, The a would be the x-variable (independent variable), and b would be the y-variable, (dependent variable).

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