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Coordinate Geometry

Introduction to Coordinate Geometry

An Overview

Need for Coordinate Geometry

Consider a situation wherein we have the students of a class sitting in different rows and we need to locate the position of one particular student. Let us suppose that this student is sitting in the second row. Using this information, can we ascertain the student’s exact location?

No, we cannot. The given information is insufficient. For us to be able to locate this student in the class, we also need to know the column in which he/she is sitting. So, we require two [[mn:glossary]]variables[[/mn:glossary]] to define the student’s position—one for the row and the other for the column. 

Such situations—wherein we require two attributes to locate points, objects, etc.—can be dealt with by using coordinate [[mn:glossary]]geometry[[/mn:glossary]]. It is the geometric system in which the positions of points on a plane are described using ordered pairs of numbers. 

Topics to be covered in this lesson:

Terminology related to coordinate geometry

Convention of signs in the different quadrants of the Cartesian plane

Reading the positions of points plotted on the coordinate plane

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Terminology Related to Coordinate Geometry

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