# How to Read Off the Cartesian Coordinates of a Point (Mathematics Lesson)

# Reading Off the Cartesian Coordinates of a Point

The Cartesian coordinates of a point can be read off from a graph.# How to Read Off the Cartesian Coordinates a Point

Reading off the Cartesian coordinates of a point is easy.#### An Example Question

What are the Cartesian coordinates of the point shown on the graph below.Step 1

**across**the point is along the horizontal x-axis.

We see that the point is

**2**units along the x-axis.

**2 is the x-coordinate of the point**.

**Note:**The x-axis is labelled with numbers (0, 1, 2, 3...) so you can measure how far across the point is.

Step 2

**up**the point is along the vertical y-axis.

We see that the point is

**4**units up the y-axis.

**4 is the y-coordinate of the point**.

**Note:**The y-axis is labelled with numbers (0, 1, 2, 3...) so you can measure how far up the point is.

Step 3

The x-coordinate (

**2**) found in

**Step 1**goes on the left.

The y-coordinate (

**4**) found in

**Step 2**goes on the right.

# A Real Example of How to Read Off the Cartesian Coordinates of a Point

With 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.

##### Interactive Test

**show**

Here's a second test on reading off the Cartesian coordinates of a point.

Here's a third test on reading off the Cartesian coordinates of a point.

# Positive and Negative Coordinates

The 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.

See if the point is to the left or right of the y-axis. If it is on the:

- 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.