 # Solving Systems of Nonlinear Inequalities The solution of a system of nonlinear inequalities is represented on a graph as the overlap of the shaded regions that represent the solutions of the separate inequalities.
Systems of nonlinear inequalities are solved by the same method as systems of linear inequalities. The graphs may be more complicated, so in cases where it is difficult to determine which part of the coordinate plane to shade, use a test point.
Step-By-Step Example
Solving a System of Nonlinear Inequalities
Solve the system of inequalities.
\begin{cases}\begin{aligned}x^2+y & \leq 4\\y & > x^2+3x-4 \end{aligned}\end{cases}
Step 1
Solve the inequalities for $y$, if needed.
\begin{aligned}x^2+y&\leq 4\\y&\leq -x^2+4\end{aligned}
The second inequality is already solved for $y$ .
Step 2
Graph the boundary curves using technology or by hand. Use a solid curve for:
$y\leq -x^2+4$
Use a dashed curve for:
$y>x^2+3x-4$
Solution
$y\leq -x^2+4$
$y>x^2+3x-4$
To check the solution, select a point from the shaded region that is not on either curve and substitute the coordinates of the point into both inequalities to verify that each is true. The point $(0,0)$ is in the overlap of the shaded areas and not on either curve. First inequality:
\begin{aligned}x^2+y&\leq 4\\0^2+0&\stackrel{?}{\leq}4\\0&\leq 4 & \checkmark \end{aligned}
\begin{aligned}y&>x^2+3x-4\\0&\stackrel{?}{>}0^2+3(0)-4\\0&>-4 & \checkmark \end{aligned}
Both inequalities are true, so the region that contains $(0,0)$ is the solution.