Lesson 12

Using Equations for Lines

Let’s write equations for lines.

12.1: Missing center

A dilation with scale factor 2 sends \(A\) to \(B\). Where is the center of the dilation?

Two points labeled A and B with point A below and to the right of point B.

12.2: Writing Relationships from Two Points

Here is a line.

Coordinate plane, first quadrant. Line through 5 comma 3, 7 comma 7, x comma y.
  1. Using what you know about similar triangles, find an equation for the line in the diagram.
  2. What is the slope of this line? Does it appear in your equation?
  3. Is \((9, 11)\) also on the line? How do you know?
  4. Is \((100,193)\) also on the line?

There are many different ways to write down an equation for a line like the one in the problem.  Does \(\frac{y-3}{x-6}=2\) represent the line?  What about \(\frac{y-6}{x-4}=5\)?  What about \(\frac{y+5}{x-1}=2\)?  Explain your reasoning.

12.3: Dilations and Slope Triangles

Here is triangle \(ABC\).

Coordinate plane, first quadrant. Triangle formed by point A, at 0 comma 1, point B at 2 comma 1, and point C at 2 comma 2.
  1. Draw the dilation of triangle \(ABC\) with center \((0,1)\) and scale factor 2.
  2. Draw the dilation of triangle \(ABC\) with center \((0,1)\) and scale factor 2.5.
  3. Where is \(C\) mapped by the dilation with center \((0,1)\) and scale factor \(s\)?
  4. For which scale factor does the dilation with center \((0,1)\) send \(C\) to \((9,5.5)\)? Explain how you know.


We can use what we know about slope to decide if a point lies on a line. Here is a line with a few points labeled.

Coordinate plane, first quadrant. Line through 0 comma 1, x comma y, 2 comma 5. Dotted line from 0 comma 1 to 2 comma 1. Dotted lines connect x comma y & 2 comma 5 vertically to that horizontal line.

The slope triangle with vertices \((0,1)\) and \((2,5)\) gives a slope of \(\frac{5-1}{2-0} =2\). The slope triangle with vertices \((0,1)\) and \((x,y)\) gives a slope of \(\frac{y-1}{x}\). Since these slopes are the same, \(\frac{y-1}{x} = 2\) is an equation for the line. So, if we want to check whether or not the point \((11,23)\) lies on this line, we can check that \(\frac{23-1}{11} =2\). Since \((11,23)\) is a solution to the equation, it is on the line!

Video Summary

Glossary Entries

  • similar

    Two figures are similar if one can fit exactly over the other after rigid transformations and dilations.

    In this figure, triangle \(ABC\) is similar to triangle \(DEF\).

    If \(ABC\) is rotated around point \(B\) and then dilated with center point \(O\), then it will fit exactly over \(DEF\). This means that they are similar.

  • slope

    The slope of a line is a number we can calculate using any two points on the line. To find the slope, divide the vertical distance between the points by the horizontal distance.

    The slope of this line is 2 divided by 3 or \(\frac23\).

    A graph in the coordinate plane with a line on it.