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How To: Determine if 2 linear equations are parallel or perpendicular to each other

Very often students get ask to show whether 2 linear equations are parallel (or perpendicular – they meet at a 90° angle) to each other when drawn on a graph. In fact, the critria for determining that 2 lines are parallel or perpendicular is quite simple.

2 lines are PARALLEL if the coefficients of the x variable ARE THE SAME.

2 lines are PERPENDICULAR if the coefficients of the x variable MULTIPLY TO -1

Note: The linear equations must be in the form y = mx + c that is the coefficient of the y-variable must be 1 before attempting to determine if the lines are parallel or perpendicular.

Watch this short video for examples.