You have seen that every linear equation in one variable has a unique solution. What can you say about the solution of a linear equation involving two variables? As there are two variables in the equation, a solution means a pair of values, one for x and one for y which satisfy the given equation. Let us consider the equation 2x + 3y = 12. Here, x = 3 and y = 2 is a solution because when you substitute x = 3 and y = 2 in the equation above, you find that
So far, you have obtained the solutions of a linear equation in two variables algebraically. Now, let us look at their geometric representation. You know that each such equation has infinitely many solutions. How can we show them in the coordinate plane? You may have got some indication in which we write the solution as pairs of values. The solutions of the linear equation in Example 3, namely,
You have studied how to write the coordinates of a given point in the Cartesian plane. Do you know where the points (2, 0), (–3, 0), (4, 0) and (n, 0), for any real number n, lie in the Cartesian plane? Yes, they all lie on the x-axis. But do you know why? Because on the x-axis, the y-coordinate of each point is 0. In fact, every point on the x-axis is of the form (x, 0). Can you now guess the equation of the x-axis? It is given by y = 0. Note that y = 0 can be expressed as 0.x + 1.y = 0. Similarly, observe that the equation of the y-axis is given by x = 0.
In this chapter, you have studied the following points:
1. An equation of the form ax + by + c = 0, where a, b and c are real numbers, such that a and b are not both zero, is called a linear equation in two variables.