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### Ordered Pairs vs. Coordinates

```
Date: 9/9/96 at 10:50:13
From: O'Brien, Thomas, F
Subject: Ordered Pairs vs. Coordinates

Dr. Math,

I was approached today by another teacher to explain to her the
difference between an ordered pair and coordinates. Would you please

Thomas O'Brien
```

```
Date: 9/9/96 at 11:25:20
From: Doctor Robert
Subject: Re: Ordered Pairs vs. Coordinates

An ordered pair is just a pair of numbers, usually enclosed in
parentheses and separated by a comma, in which the order makes a
difference.  That is, (a,b) is not the same as (b,a). Now, these
numbers might represent the coordinates of a point in a plane, but
they also might represent ordered pairs of a function. For example
(45,60000) might represent a \$60000 income at age 45.

Ordered pairs can represent many different things - components of
vectors, for example - but coordinates, I believe, should be
interpreted as representing the x-distance and the y-distance from a
given origin.

I hope that this helps.

-Doctor Robert,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Coordinate Plane Geometry
High School Definitions
High School Geometry
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Geometry

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