Follow Us on Twitter

What Is a Linear Equation (in General Form)? (Mathematics Lesson)

What Is a Linear Equation (in General Form)?

A linear equation is an equation that represents a line.

A linear equation can be written in the form:

a x plus b y plus c equals 0

On a graph, a linear equation looks like a line:

line on a graph

A Real Example of a Linear Equation in General Form

An example of a linear equation in general form is given below:

4 x plus 2 y plus 8 equals 0

In this example, a = 4, b = 2 and c = 8.

We cannot directly tell any thing about this line from this equation

We can use algebra to convert this equation from general form to slope-intercept form, and then find the slope and y-intercept:

4x + 2y + 8 = 0

2y = −4x − 8

y = −2x − 4

This line has a slope of −2 and a y-intercept of −4.

Read more about converting a linear equation in general form to slope-intercept form
Read more about finding the slope from a linear equation in general form
Read more about finding the y-intercept from a linear equation in general form

Other Forms of Linear Equations

There are other forms of linear equation.

Interactive Test
  show
 

Here's a second test on linear equations in general form.
Here's a third test on linear equations in general form.