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Coordinate plane: FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the coordinate plane.

What is the coordinate plane?

The coordinate plane is a two-dimensional grid that is used to graph points and lines. A coordinate plane has four sections called quadrants.
Quadrant one (QI) is in the upper right-hand corner of the coordinate plane, Quadrant two (QII) is in the upper left-hand corner, Quadrant three (QIII) is in the lower left-hand corner, and Quadrant four (QIV) is in the lower right-hand corner.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

What are coordinates and what do they represent?

Coordinates are two numbers that are used to locate a point on the coordinate plane.
The first number, or x-coordinate, tells us how far left or right to move from the origin (the point where the two axes intersect). The second number, or y-coordinate, tells us how far up or down to move from the origin.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

How do we graph a point on the coordinate plane?

To graph a point, we first find the x-coordinate on the horizontal axis, and then we find the y-coordinate on the vertical axis. We plot the point where the two lines intersect.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

Where do we use the coordinate plane in the real world?

The coordinate plane is used in many different fields, such as engineering, architecture, and physics.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

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