The slant of a line is called the slope. Slope describes how steep a line is. The slope of a line can be found using the ratio of rise over run between any two points on the line.
In the following graph, the rise from point P to point Q is 2 and the run from point P to point Q is 4.
Take note that the slope obtained would be the same no matter which two points on the line were selected to determine the rise and the run.
A horizontal line has a slope of zero. A vertical line has an undefined slope.
A line with a positive slope slant upwards, whereas a line with a negative slope slant downwards.
Slope can also be calculated as the ratio of the change in the y-value over the change in the x-value.
Given any two points on a line, (x1, y1) and (x2, y2), we can calculate the slope of the line by using this formula:
For example: Given two points, P = (0, –1) and Q = (4,1), on the line we can calculate the slope of the line.
slope = =
Let's look at a line that has a negative slope.
For example: Consider the two points, R(–2, 3) and S(0, –1) on the line. What would be the slope of the line?
slope = =
This video shows how to find the slope of the line that passes through two points when given the coordinates of the points. To solve the problem (without graphing), we can use the slope formula, which states that m = (y2 − y1) / (x2 − x1). The slope formula can be read as "slope equals the second y-coordinate minus the first y-coordinate over the second x-coordinate minus the first x-coordinate".
The y-intercept is where the line intercepts (meets) the y-axis.
In the following diagram, the line intercepts the y-axis at (0,–1). Its y-intercept is equal to –1.
Equation of a straight line can be written in slope-intercept form.
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