How do you know which variable is the "x" and the "y"?

1 Answer
Feb 14, 2015

If you are talking about determining ordered pairs to be graphed, the variable that is under your control is the x variable. It is called the independent variable. The variable that results from the independent variable is the y variable. It is called the dependent variable because its value is dependent on the independent variable.

Take for example the equation #"y = x"^2"#. The values that you input for x will determine the values of y. So x is the independent variable and y is the dependent variable.

The same would be true if the equation was #"b = a"^2"#. The a would be the x-variable (independent variable), and b would be the y-variable, (dependent variable).