A coordinate grid has four separate sections called quadrants. When plotting points or carrying out transformations, you may need to use one or more of the four quadrants.

Identifying the four quadrants

The $1st, 2nd, 3rd,$ and $4th$ quadrants are visualised below. The $2nd, 3rd$ and $4th$ quadrants all involve negative numbers, either on the $x$-axis, the $y$-axis, or both.

Plotting points

For any coordinate on a graph, the first value given is the $x$-coordinate and the second value is the $y$-coordinate. To plot a point, firstly find the $x$-coordinate on the $x$-axis, then either go up or down to the level of the $y$-coordinate on the $y$- axis.

Note: If the $y$-coordinate is positive, move up and if the $y$-coordinate is negative, move down instead.

Example

Plot the points $A(6,7);B(-2,4);C(-3,-3);D(2,-5)$ on the grid below.

Point A: Find $\underline{6}$ on the $x$-axis, then move up $\underline{7}$ spaces.

Point B: Find $\underline{-2}$ on the $x$-axis, then move up $\underline{4}$ spaces.

Point C: Find $\underline{-3}$ on the $x$-axis, then move down $\underline{3}$ spaces.

Point D: Find $\underline{2}$ on the $x$-axis, then move down $\underline{5}$ spaces.

Note: "Along the corridor and up the stairs" is a reminder of the order in which to plot coordinates.