3.8: Transformations of Quadratic Functions
Look at the parabola below. How is this parabola different from
Watch This
Khan Academy Graphing a Quadratic Function
Guidance
This is the graph of
This is the graph of
The vertex of the red parabola is (3, 1). The sides of the parabola open upward but they appear steeper and longer than those on the blue parabola.
As shown above, you can apply changes to the graph of
The vertex of (0, 0) will change if the parabola undergoes either a horizontal translation and/or a vertical translation. These transformations cause the parabola to slide left or right and up or down.
If the parabola undergoes a vertical stretch, the
Finally, a parabola can undergo a vertical reflection that will cause it to open downwards as opposed to upwards. For example,
Example A
Look at the two parabolas below. Describe the transformation from the blue parabola to the red parabola. What is the coordinate of the vertex of the red parabola?
Solution:
The blue parabola is the graph of
Example B
Look at the two parabolas below. Describe the transformation from the blue parabola to the red parabola. What is the coordinate of the vertex of the red parabola?
Solution:
The blue parabola is the graph of
Example C
Look at the parabola below. How is this parabola different from
Solution:
This is the graph of
Concept Problem Revisited
This is the graph of
Vocabulary
 Horizontal translation

The horizontal translation is the change in the base graph
y=x2 that shifts the graph right or left. It changes thex− coordinate of the vertex.
 Transformation

A transformation is any change in the base graph
y=x2 . The transformations that apply to the parabola are a horizontal translation, a vertical translation, a vertical stretch and a vertical reflection.
 Vertical Reflection

The vertical reflection is the reflection of the image graph in the
x axis. The graph opens downward and they values are negative values.
 Vertical Stretch

The vertical stretch is the change made to the base function
y=x2 by stretching (or compressing) the graph vertically. The vertical stretch will produce an image graph that appears narrower (or wider) then the original base graph ofy=x2 .
 Vertical Translation

The vertical translation is the change in the base graph
y=x2 that shifts the graph up or down. It changes they− coordinate of the vertex.
Guided Practice
1. Use the following tables of values and identify the transformations of the base graph
2. Identify the transformations of the base graph
3. Draw the image graph of
Answers:
1. To identify the transformations from the tables of values, determine how the table of values for
 The
x values have moved one place to the left. This means that the graph has undergone a horizontal translation of –1.  The
y− coordinate of the vertex is –3. This means that the graph has undergone a vertical translation of –3. The vertex is easy to pick out from the tables since it is the point around which the corresponding points appear.  The points from the vertex are plotted left and right one and up two, left and right two and up eight. This means that the base graph has undergone a vertical stretch of 2.
 The
y values move upward so the parabola will open upward. Therefore the image is not a vertical reflection.
2. The vertex is (1, 6). The base graph has undergone a horizontal translation of +1 and a vertical translation of +6. The parabola opens downward, so the graph is a vertical reflection. The points have been plotted such that the
3. The vertex given by the horizontal and vertical translations and is (–3, 2). The
Practice
The following table represents transformations to the base graph \begin{align*}y=x^2\end{align*}
Number 
\begin{align*}VR\end{align*} 
\begin{align*}VS\end{align*} 
\begin{align*}VT\end{align*} 
\begin{align*}HT\end{align*} 

1.  NO  \begin{align*}3\end{align*}  \begin{align*}4\end{align*}  \begin{align*}8\end{align*} 
2.  YES  \begin{align*}2\end{align*}  \begin{align*}5\end{align*}  \begin{align*}6\end{align*} 
3.  YES  \begin{align*}\frac{1}{2}\end{align*}  \begin{align*}3\end{align*}  \begin{align*}2\end{align*} 
4.  NO  \begin{align*}1\end{align*}  \begin{align*}2\end{align*}  \begin{align*}4\end{align*} 
5.  NO  \begin{align*}\frac{1}{4}\end{align*}  \begin{align*}1\end{align*}  \begin{align*}3\end{align*} 
6.  YES  \begin{align*}1\end{align*}  \begin{align*}4\end{align*}  
7.  NO  \begin{align*}2\end{align*}  \begin{align*}3\end{align*}  \begin{align*}1\end{align*} 
8.  YES  \begin{align*}\frac{1}{8}\end{align*}  \begin{align*}2\end{align*} 
For each of the following graphs, list the transformations of \begin{align*}y=x^2\end{align*}.
 .
 .
 .
 .
 .
 .
 .
Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.
Color  Highlighted Text  Notes  

Show More 
Image Attributions
Here you'll learn how to transform the basic quadratic functions (@$\begin{align*}y=x^2\end{align*}@$ and @$\begin{align*}y=x^2\end{align*}@$) to make new quadratic functions.