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# Algebraic Functions

## Identify functions using coordinate pairs

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Algebraic Functions

What if you were given a set of x and y values? How could you determine whether the relation between those values represented a function? After completing this Concept you'll be able to analyze the domain and range of a relation to determine if it represents a function.

### Guidance

A function is a special kind of relation. In a function, for each input there is exactly one output; in a relation, there can be more than one output for a given input.

#### Example A

Consider the relation that shows the heights of all students in a class. The domain is the set of people in the class and the range is the set of heights. This relation is a function because each person has exactly one height. If any person had more than one height, the relation would not be a function.

Notice that even though the same person can’t have more than one height, it’s okay for more than one person to have the same height. In a function, more than one input can have the same output, as long as more than one output never comes from the same input.

#### Example B

Determine if the relation is a function.

a) (1, 3), (-1, -2), (3, 5), (2, 5), (3, 4)

b) (-3, 20), (-5, 25), (-1, 5), (7, 12), (9, 2)

c)

Solution

The easiest way to figure out if a relation is a function is to look at all the values in the list or the table. If a value of appears more than once, and it’s paired up with different values, then the relation is not a function.

a) You can see that in this relation there are two different values paired with the value of 3. This means that this relation is not a function.

b) Each value of has exactly one value. The relation is a function.

c) In this relation there are two different values paired with the value of 2 and two values paired with the value of 1. The relation is not a function.

When a relation is represented graphically, we can determine if it is a function by using the vertical line test. If you can draw a vertical line that crosses the graph in more than one place, then the relation is not a function.

#### Example C

For the following graphs, determine whether they are functions.

Solution:

1. Not a function. It fails the vertical line test.

2. A function. No vertical line will cross more than one point on the graph.

Watch this video for help with the Examples above.

### Vocabulary

• A function is a special kind of relation. In a function, for each input there is exactly one output; in a relation, there can be more than one output for a given input.

### Guided Practice

For the following graphs, determine whether they are functions.

Solution:

1. A function. No vertical line will cross more than one point on the graph.

2. Not a function. It fails the vertical line test.

### Practice

In 1-8, determine whether each relation is a function:

1. (1, 7), (2, 7), (3, 8), (4, 8), (5, 9)
2. (1, 1), (1, -1), (4, 2), (4, -2), (9, 3), (9, -3)
3. (2, -6), (1, -3), (0, 0), (1, 3), (2, 6)
4. (-2, -8), (-1, -1), (0, 0), (1, 1), (2, 8)
5. (-5, 10), (-1, 5), (0, 10), (1, 5), (5, 10)

In 9-10, use the vertical line test to determine whether each relation is a function.

### Vocabulary Language: English

domain

domain

The domain of a function is the set of $x$-values for which the function is defined.
Range

Range

The range of a function is the set of $y$ values for which the function is defined.
Vertical Line Test

Vertical Line Test

The vertical line test says that if a vertical line drawn anywhere through the graph of a relation intersects the relation in more than one location, then the relation is not a function.