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Stitz-Zeager_College_Algebra_e-book

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Unformatted text preview: P below on the left. To use the numbers on the axes to label this point, we imagine dropping a vertical line from the x-axis to P and extending a horizontal line from the y -axis to P . We then describe the point P using the ordered pair (2, −4). The ﬁrst number in the ordered pair is called the abscissa or x-coordinate and the second is called the ordinate or y -coordinate.3 Taken together, the ordered pair (2, −4) comprise the Cartesian coordinates of the point P . In practice, the distinction between a point and its coordinates is blurred; for example, we often speak of ‘the point (2, −4).’ We can think of (2, −4) as instructions on how to reach P from the origin by moving 2 units to the right and 4 units downwards. Notice that the order in the ordered pair is important − if we wish to plot the point (−4, 2), we would move to the left 4 units from the origin and then move upwards 2 units, as below on the right. y y 4 4 3 3 (−4, 2) 2 1 −4 −3 −2 2 1 −1 1 2 3 4 x −4 −3 −2 −1 1 −1 −2 3 4 x −2 −3 2 −1 −3 −4 P −4 P (2,...
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