Coordinates show the location of a point against the $x$ and $y$ axis. They can be plotted on a graph which has four corners called quadrants. The first quadrant is in the upper right side of a graph. Here both the $x$ and $y$ values of the coordinates will be positive numbers.

Positions on a graph

Graphs and coordinates have specific features:

$x$ axis

Horizontal line.

$y$ axis

Vertical line.

Origin

The point $(0,0)$ where the $x$ and $y$ axis cross.

Quadrants

The four corners of the graph separated by the $x$ and $y$ axis.

Plotting points

The first number in a coordinate shows the value on the $x$ axis. The second number in a coordinate shows the value on the $y$ axis. So, to find a coordinate "follow the corridor and go up the stairs".

Example 1

Plot the point $P (2,5)$.

Note:Coordinates can be plotted on a graph with a dot or a cross.

Identifying points in the first quadrant

You also need to find the coordinates of a point on a graph. Follow a point down to the $x$ axis for the first coordinate and across to the $y$ axis for the second coordinate.

Example 2

Use the grid below to identify the coordinates for points $A$, $B$ and $C$.

$\underline{A: (1,2)}$

$\underline{B :(3,2)}$

$\underline{C :(3,4)}$

Note:Coordinates on the same horizontal line have the same $y$ value. Coordinates on the same vertical line have the same $x$ value.