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Linear Inequalities

Here we will learn how to graph linear inequalities and how to graphically represent the solution of a system of linear inequalities.

Linear equations can be written in the form;  y = mx + b
However, liner inequalities come in several different forms. These forms include:
 y \leq mx + b
 y \geq mx + b
 y > mx + b
 y < mx + b
Graphing such inequalities differs a little from graphing regular equations. Graphing the line in an inequality doesn’t change from the original process, but how the line appears on the graph does change. Any line with a  > or < will appear as a dotted line, because  > or < do not include the values on the line, but rather all the values above, or below it. Depending on whether or not the equation is  > or < , you will shade the area above the line ( > greater than) or below the line ( < less than). This process doesn’t change much with  \leq and \geq inequalities. The only difference here is that there is a line below the symbols  > or < . This means that it reads either greater than or equal to, or less than or equal to, and that the equation includes the values of the line, so the line will appear solid instead of dotted.
After graphing and shading the equations, the area where the two equations overlap is the area where the values in it satisfy both equations.

Example:
You have 2 inequalities;  y \leq \frac{3}{2}x + 1 and  y > \frac{-2}{3}x + 3
Graphing the first line, you will see that the line is in the same place as if it were written in the form of  y = \frac{3}{2}x + 1 . However, the first line has an  \leq (less than but equal) symbol. So here, the line would be solid, and you would shade the area below the line. For the next equation,  y > \frac{-2}{3}x + 3 , there is a > (greater than) symbol. This means that the line would appear dotted and the shading would be done on the area above the line.

In the end, you have an area where the shaded areas of the two lines overlap. This area is your solution. The values in this area satisfy both  y \leq \frac{3}{2}x + 1 and  y > \frac{-2}{3}x + 3 .

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