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.

Main content

Points and quadrants example

Plotting points on a graph involves moving along the x and y axes. Positive x-values move right, negative x-values move left. Positive y-values move up, negative y-values move down. The graph is divided into four quadrants, helping us locate points easily. Created by Sal Khan.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

Plot 4 comma negative 1, and select the quadrant in which the point lies. So 4, the first number in our ordered pair, that's our x-coordinate. That says how far to move in the horizontal or the x-direction. It's a positive 4. So I'm going to go 4 to the right. And then the second coordinate says, what do we do in the vertical direction or in the y-direction? It's a negative 1. Since it's negative, we're going to go down. And it's a negative 1, so we're going to go down 1. So that right over there is the point 4 comma negative 1. So I've plotted it, but now I have to select which quadrant the point lies in. And this is just a naming convention. This is the first quadrant. This is the second quadrant. This is the third quadrant. And this is the fourth quadrant. So the point lies in the fourth quadrant, quadrant IV. And I guess you have to know your Roman numerals a little bit to know that's representing quadrant IV. Let's do a couple more of these. Plot 8 comma negative 4, and select the quadrant in which the point lies. Well, my x-coordinate is 8 so I go 8 in the positive x-direction. And then my y-coordinate is negative 4, so I go 4 down. And this is sitting, again, in not the first, not the second, not the third, but the fourth quadrant, in quadrant IV. Let's do one more of these. Hopefully we get a different quadrant. So we want to plot the point negative 5 comma 5. So now my x-coordinate is negative. It's negative 5. So I'm going to move to the left in the x-direction. So I go to negative 5. And my y-coordinate is positive so I go up 5, so negative 5 comma 5. And this is sitting not in the first quadrant, but the second quadrant. And of course, this is the third and the fourth. So this is sitting in the second quadrant. Check answer, and we got it right.