My Math Forum What are the conventions for writing the equations of straight lines?

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 August 12th, 2015, 11:44 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: Aug 2015 From: UK Posts: 9 Thanks: 0 What are the conventions for writing the equations of straight lines? My textbook gives a range of answers to different problems requiring a solution in the form of an equation of a straight line along given coordinates, and I'm unsure of the reasons for writing it out in such different ways. For example, the solution to one problem was y = 2x + 1, and the answer to the next was y + x = 1. As far as I can see, it would be just as accurate (and more consistent with the first answer) to say y = -x + 1. I'm sure it must be written that way for a reason, and I'd like to get the conventional writing sorted early on so I don't develop any bad habits, so why is it written differently in this case? Another answer is written as 3y = 2x + 8, wouldn't it be better to do the final step to solve for y by writing y = (2x + 8) / 3, or would the fraction make this undesirable? Last edited by skipjack; August 12th, 2015 at 01:34 PM.
 August 12th, 2015, 01:40 PM #2 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,931 Thanks: 2207 There are many equivalent forms for the equation of a straight line. The most common ones are listed here.

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