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Straight line

In analytic geometry, a straight line can always be expressed as an equation of degree one in two unknowns

ax + by + c = 0

Such equations are known as linear equations.



In school you learn to write the equation of a straight line as

y = ax + b

or as

y = mx + n

but of course that is all the same. You can also write the linear equation as

by = −ax − c 

from which follows

In mathematics you use the notation that fits best. It is not a question of what is beautiful or what you usually do, but what is clear.


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