The coordinate plane or Cartesian plane is a basic concept for coordinate geometry. It describes a two-dimensional plane in terms of two perpendicular lines or axes: x-axis and y-axis. The x-axis forms a horizontal number line while the y-axis forms a vertical number line. The x-axis and the y-axis meets at the point of origin.
The position of a point on the Cartesian plane is represented by a pair of numbers. The pair is called an ordered pair or coordinates (x, y). The first number, x, called the x-coordinate and the second number, y, is called the y-coordinate.
The origin is indicated by the ordered pair or coordinates (0, 0)
To get to the point (x, y), we start from the origin.
If x is positive then we move x units right from the origin otherwise if x is negative then we move x units left from the origin. Then, if y is positive, we move y units up otherwise if y is negative, we move y units down.
In the following coordinate plane: .
Point M has coordinates (2, 1.5). To get to point M, we move 2 units to the right (positive) and 1.5 units up (positive).
Point L is represented by the coordinates (–3, 1.5). To get to point L, we move 3 units to the left (negative) and 1.5 units up (positive)
Point N has coordinates (–2, –3). To get to point N, we move 2 units to the left (negative) and 3 units down (negative).
Notice that the x-axis and y-axis divide the Cartesian plane into 4 regions known as quadrants. They are labeled 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th quadrants accordingly in an anticlockwise direction.
Quadrant 1 contains positive x values and positive y values.
Quadrant 2 contains negative x values and positive y values.
Quadrant 3 contains negative x values and negative y values.
Quadrant 4 contains positive x values and negative y values.
This video introduces the coordinate plane or Cartesian plane, quadrants and how to plot points on the Cartesian plane.
Try the free Mathway calculator and
problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own
problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
We welcome your feedback, comments and questions about this site or page. Please submit your feedback or enquiries via our Feedback page.