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The coordinate plane is a basic concept in geometry. It is also commonly referred to as the  Cartesian plane. The cartesian plane is a 2 dimensional plane that is described in terms of two perpendicular axis - the horizontal x axis and the vertical y axis.

Coordinates definition

In the coordinate plane, position of points on the plane are indicated by their positions along the x and y-axes thus giving us an ordered pair of numbers i.e. (x, y). The first number gives the point’s location on the x axis and the second number gives the location on the y axis.

If the number x is positive, it means that the point is to the right of the origin (0,0) on the x axis. If the number x is negative, it means that the point is to the left of the origin on the x axis.

Similarly, if the number y is positive, it means that the point is above the origin on the y axis. If the number y is negative, it means that the point is below the origin on the y axis.

How to plot points on the coordinates plane?

Consider the coordinate plane with x as the horizontal axis and y as the vertical axis. Plot a point A ( 5, 3 ) on this plane.

                                                           
In order to plot the point  A ( 5, 3 ), we first draw the x and y axis
Now start at the origin ( 0, 0 ) and move 5 units to the right in the horizontal direction
Now move 3 units up in the vertical direction and plot the point.

Practice questions:

Question: Plot the point B (6, 3) on the cartesian plane.

Question: Plot the point B (6, 0) on the cartesian plane.

Question: Plot the point B (-6, 3) on the cartesian plane.

Question: Plot the point B (0, 3) on the cartesian plane.

Question: Plot the point B (6, -3) on the cartesian plane.

Question: Plot the point B (-6, -3) on the cartesian plane.

Related topics

If you know the coordinates of a set of points then you can do the following:

1. Determine the distance between the points. If the line segment joining the points is horizontal or vertical, the distance can be computed with the help of the units marked on the x and y axis respectively. In case the line segment joining the points is diagonal, you can use pythagoras theorem to compute the length of the diagonal line.

2. Transform the shapes - using translation, reflection and rotation

3. Draw line segment through the points and determine if they are parallel or perpendicular line segments

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