# Finding the Inverse of a Function(KS4, Year 10)

homesitemapfunctionsfinding the inverse of a function
An inverse function is a function that reverses another function. If we have a function f(x), we can find the inverse function f−1(x).

## How to Find the Inverse of a Function

Finding the inverse of a function is easy.

## Question

Find the inverse function of the function below.

## 1

Rearrange the function to find "x =".
 f(x) = ½x + 1 f(x) − 1 = ½x + 1 − 1 Subtract 1 from both sides f(x) − 1 = ½x 2 × ( f(x) − 1 ) = 2 × ½x Multiply both sides by 2 2( f(x) − 1 ) = x x = 2( f(x) − 1 )
We have rearranged f(x) = ½x + 1 to find what "x = ". x = 2( f(x) − 1 )

## 2

Replace x with f−1(x).
f−1(x) = 2( f(x) − 1 )

## 3

Replace f(x) with x.
f−1(x) = 2( x − 1 )

## Answer:

The inverse of the function f(x) = ½x + 1 is: f−1(x) = 2(x − 1).

## Lesson Slides

The slider below explains more about how to find the inverse of a function.

## Why Do We Relabel the Input and the Output?

When we find the inverse of a function, we replace:
• the input of the function (x) with the output of the inverse function (f−1(x)), and
• the output of the function (f(x)) with the input of the inverse function (x).
This comes from two conceptions of an inverse function.
• An inverse function reverses a function, relating the function's output f(x) to its input x. We can think of f(x) being the input to the inverse function and x being its output.
• An inverse function is a function. Using functional notation, an inverse function relates an input x to an output f−1(x).
If we compare these two conceptions... ...we see that we need to replace f(x) with x and x with f−1(x).

This page was written by Stephen Clarke.

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