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Re: In the xy-plane, if line k has a negative slope and passes [#permalink]
07 Jun 2012, 09:41

Expert's post

Val1986 wrote:

In the xy-plane, if line k has negative slope and passes through the point (−5,r ), is the x-intercept of line k positive?

(1) The slope of line k is –5. (2) r > 0

The answer to this question is E, not A. OA edited.

In the xy-plane, if line k has negative slope and passes through the point (-5,r), is the x-intercept of line k positive?

This question can be done with graphic approach (just by drawing the lines) or with algebraic approach.

Algebraic approach:

Equation of a line in point intercept form is \(y=mx+b\), where: \(m\) is the slope of the line, \(b\) is the y-intercept of the line (the value of \(y\) for \(x=0\)), and \(x\) is the independent variable of the function \(y\).

We are told that slope of line \(k\) is negative (\(m<0\)) and it passes through the point (-5,r): \(y=mx+b\) --> \(r=-5m+b\).

Question: is x-intercept of line \(k\) positive? x-intercep is the value of \(x\) for \(y=0\) --> \(0=mx+b\) --> is \(x=-\frac{b}{m}>0\)? As we know that \(m<0\), then the question basically becomes: is \(b>0\)?.

(1) The slope of line \(k\) is -5 --> \(m=-5<0\). We've already known that slope was negative and there is no info about \(b\), hence this statement is insufficient.

(2) \(r>0\) --> \(r=-5m+b>0\) --> \(b>5m=some \ negative \ number\), as \(m<0\) we have that \(b\) is more than some negative number (\(5m\)), hence insufficient, to say whether \(b>0\).

(1)+(2) From (1) \(m=-5\) and from (2) \(r=-5m+b>0\) --> \(r=-5m+b=25+b>0\) --> \(b>-25\). Not sufficient to say whether \(b>0\).

Re: In the xy-plane, if line k has a negative slope and passes [#permalink]
07 Jun 2012, 09:46

Expert's post

In the xy-plane, if line k has negative slope and passes through the point (-5,r), is the x-intercept of line k positive?

(1) The slope of line k is -5 (2) r>0

Graphic approach:

If the slope of a line is negative, the line WILL intersect quadrants II and IV. X and Y intersects of the line with negative slope have the same sign. Therefore if X and Y intersects are positive, the line intersects quadrant I; if negative, quadrant III.

When we take both statement together all we know is that slope is negative and that it crosses some point in II quadrant (-5, r>0) (this info is redundant as we know that if the slope of the line is negative, the line WILL intersect quadrants II). Basically we just know that the slope is negative - that's all. We can not say whether x-intercept is positive or negative from this info.

Below are two graphs with positive and negative x-intercepts. Statements that the slope=-5 and that the line crosses (-5, r>0) are satisfied.

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