Ordered Pairs on the Coordinate Plane

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  • 0:01 The Coordinate Plane
  • 1:04 An Ordered Pair
  • 2:41 Example
  • 3:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

In this video lesson, you will see how points are plotted on the coordinate plane. Learn the proper way to identify points on the coordinate plane and how to read the points.

The Coordinate Plane

In this lesson, we'll talk about points on the coordinate plane. The coordinate plane is a 2-dimensional surface with an x-axis and a y-axis. Why do we need to learn about points on the coordinate plane? This is an important topic to learn because we see these points in many applications. Not only will we see them in our math classes, but we will also see these in use in real-world applications, such as on maps. Our coordinate plane looks like this:

coordinate plane

We have our x-axis as the horizontal line and our y-axis as the vertical line. Where the x-axis and the y-axis intersect is the very center of the graph. As we move to the right, the values on the x-axis get higher. As we move to the left, the values on the x-axis get smaller. As we move up, the values on the y-axis get higher, and as we move down, the values on the y-axis get smaller.

An Ordered Pair

When we write down points on our coordinate plane, we call it an ordered pair because we have two numbers. We need the two numbers to tell us where the point is on the coordinate plane. The first number tells us where it is on the x-axis, and the second number tells us where it is on the y-axis. The very middle of the coordinate plane is the point (0, 0). The first number tells us that this point is located where the x-axis is equal to 0, and the second number tells us the y-axis value for this point is also at 0.

coordinate plane

The point (3, 4) is located three spaces to the right of the center and four spaces up. This is where the x-axis value is 3, and the y-axis value is 4.

coordinate plane

Plotting an Ordered Pair

If we are given a point to plot on the coordinate plane, we would look at the first number to see where on the x-axis our point is located, and then we would look at the second number to get the exact location of the point. The second number tells us the y-axis value of the point. Only one point can have the same x- and y-axes values.

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