The LessonThe Cartesian coordinates of a point can be read off from a graph.
How to Read Off the Cartesian Coordinates of a PointReading off the Cartesian coordinates of a point is easy.
QuestionWhat are the Cartesian coordinates of the point shown on the graph below.
Write down the Cartesian coordinates as a pair of numbers in brackets, separated by a comma. The x-coordinate (2) found in Step 1 goes on the left. The y-coordinate (4) found in Step 2 goes on the right.
Lesson SlidesWith practice, you'll be able to read off the Cartesian coordinates of a point from by eye. The slider below gives another example of how to read off the Cartesian coordinates of a point on a graph. Open the slider in a new tab
Positive and Negative CoordinatesThe pair of numbers in Cartesian coordinates the can be positive and negative.
- The x-axis is labelled with positive numbers to the right of the y-axis and negative numbers to the left.
- The y-axis is labelled with positive numbers above the y-axis and negative numbers below.
- left, the x-coordinate is negative.
- right, the x-coordinate is positive.
- above, the y-coordinate is positive.
- below, the y-coordinate is negative.
Look at which quadrant a point is in to decide the sign of each coordinate.