Let"s take into consideration again the 2 equations us did very first on the previous page, and also compare the lines" equations with their slope values.

You are watching: What is slope of vertical line

The very first line"s equation to be y = (2/3) x – 4, and the line"s slope was m = 2/3.

The 2nd line"s equation was y = –2x + 3, and the line"s slope was m = –2. In both cases, the number multiply on the variable x was additionally the worth of the slope for the line. This relationship always holds true: If the line"s equation is in the form "y=", then the number multiplied on x is the worth of the slope m.


This connection will become an extremely important when you begin working v straight-line equations.

Now let"s take into consideration those 2 equations and also their graphs.

For the first equation, y = ( 2/3 )x – 4, the slope was m = 2/3, a optimistic number. The graph looked prefer this:


Notice how the line, together we relocate from left to ideal along the x-axis, is edging upward toward the peak of the drawing; technically, the heat is an "increasing" line. And... The slope was positive.

This relationship constantly holds true: If a heat is increasing, climate its slope will certainly be positive; and also if a line"s slope is positive, then its graph will be increasing.


For the second line, y = –2x + 3, the slope was m = –2, a negative number. The graph looked favor this:


Notice just how the line, together we relocate from left to ideal along the x-axis, is edging downward toward the bottom the the drawing; technically, the heat is a "decreasing" line. And... The slope to be negative.

This partnership is constantly true: If a heat is decreasing, climate its slope will certainly be negative; and if a line"s slope is negative, climate its graph will be decreasing.

This relationship between the sign on the slope and also the direction the the line"s graph can aid you examine your calculations: if you calculation a slope together being negative, however you can see indigenous the graph the the equation the the line is actually increasing (so the slope need to be positive), climate you understand you need to re-do your calculations. Being conscious of this link can conserve you point out on a test since it will permit you to check your work-related before friend hand the in.

So now we know: increasing lines have positive slopes, and also decreasing lines have an unfavorable slopes. V this in mind, let"s consider the following horizontal line:


Is the horizontal line edging upward; the is, is it raising line? No, so its steep can"t be positive. Is the horizontal line edging downward; the is, is the a to decrease line? No, so its slope can"t it is in negative. What number is neither optimistic nor negative?


So the slope of this (and any kind of other) horizontal heat should, logically, be zero. Let"s do the calculations to confirm this. Using the (arbitrary) points from the line, (–3, 4) and also (5, 4), the slope computes as:

This relationship constantly holds: a steep of zero means that the line is horizontal, and also a horizontal line way you"ll acquire a slope of zero.

(By the way, all horizontal lines are of the form "y = part number", and the equation "y = some number" always graphs as a horizontal line.)

Is the vertical heat going up on one end? Well, yes, kind of. So maybe the slope will be positive...? Is the vertical line going down on the other end? Well, again, type of. So possibly the slope will be negative...?

But is there any type of number the is both optimistic and negative? Nope.

Verdict: upright lines have actually NO SLOPE. The concept of slope merely does no work because that vertical lines. The slope of a vertical line does not exist!

Let"s carry out the calculations to check the logic. Indigenous the line"s graph, I"ll usage the (arbitrary) clues (4, 5) and also (4, –3). Climate the steep is:

We can"t division by zero, i beg your pardon is of course why this slope value is "undefined".

This partnership is constantly true: a vertical line will have no slope, and "the steep is undefined" or "the line has no slope" way that the heat is vertical.

(By the way, every vertical lines room of the type "x = part number", and also "x = part number" way the line is vertical. Any type of time her line entails an undefined slope, the line is vertical; and any time the heat is vertical, you"ll finish up splitting by zero if you try to compute the slope.)

Warning: the is very common to confuse this two types of lines and their slopes, however they are very different.

Just together "horizontal" is not at all the same as "vertical", so also "zero slope" is no at every the very same as "no slope".

Just as a "Z" (with its 2 horizontal lines) is not the exact same as one "N" (with its two vertical lines), so likewise "Zero" steep (for a horizontal line) is no the same as "No" slope (for a vertical line).

See more: What Is An Example Of Gaining Awareness About A Health Problem

The number "zero" exists, for this reason horizontal lines do indeed have a slope. Yet vertical present don"t have any slope; "slope" simply doesn"t have any definition for vertical lines.

It is very common for tests come contain questions regarding horizontals and also verticals. Don"t mix them up!