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Raab314159

Silly Slope Question

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Hi all In the textbook "Quick Calculus - A Self Teaching Guide", the author tells the following about the concept "slope" "The slope is the ratio of the vertical distance to the horizontal distance as we go from one point on the line to another, providing that we take the sign of each line segment as in the equation 'Slope = (y2-y1)/(x2-x1)' ". Do you know what's meant by the sentence " provided that we take the sign of each line segment as in the equation 'Slope = (y2-y1)/(x2-x1)' " ? (the author is dead, so he cannot help me)

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He is saying that you want to calculate slope from point x1,y1 to x2,y2 -- which has a sign. In other words, is the "change in x" positive or negative? Is the "change in y" positive or negative? By "change in x" I mean, the change from x1 to x2.

The slope is defined by the "change in y" over the "change in x".

After reading my response it seems somewhat convoluted, but I'll post just in case it sheds a little light on it for you. :)

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Basically it's just clarifying that slope is positive if y increases with x. Like so:

/

and negative if y decreases as x increases:

\

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