If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

# Points on the coordinate plane examples

The coordinate plane is a two-dimension surface formed by two number lines. One number line is horizontal and is called the x-axis. The other number line is vertical number line and is called the y-axis. The two axes meet at a point called the origin. We can use the coordinate plane to graph points, lines, and more. Created by Sal Khan and CK-12 Foundation.

## Want to join the conversation?

• at about how come Sal only puts four dash marks on his coordinate plane instead of more when he could have easily fit more than that?
• just because he can't fit every single solitary number into one small screen
(1 vote)
• you all goofy neerds
• I'm not a nerd.
• At , are quadrants important?
(1 vote)
• Definitely! If you're given a problem, and even in real life, quadrants can help determine that where you plotted the coordinates is correct. It sort of narrows down the options!!
• why Are the y axis and the x axis always have to be apart
(1 vote)
• why cant the x axis go up and down and why cant the y axis go side to side
• The way that axes work is just our convention. If you want a q-axis and an m-axis, then be my guest. X is usually used to refer to a horizontal direction/motion, and Y refers to vertical. This is just the way some person thought of it, and this is the way we've been doing it for the past hundreds of years.
• Why are the axis x and y, why not a and g?
(1 vote)
• It is just a convention, something people agreed. You could write the axis as a and g, that's not wrong, but because of the convention there is people can easily identify the horizontal axis as the x axis, and the vertical one as the y axis.
• Isn't this shape plotted on the coordinate plane supposed to be a square? It says so in the directions? Or is square just a general term for 4 sided figures on a coordinate plane?
(1 vote)
• The shape should be a square because a general term for a 4 sided figure in any situation would be a quadrilateral.
• why are the quadrants counter clockwise?
• Some of these things are simply named by convention, but I also think it may have something to do with the way that we "sweep out" angle in trigonometry; clockwise from the positive x-axis. I'm not really sure if that's why, but it seems applicable.