Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Barb, a student:

I have a question I need help with please. What are the number of x and y intercepts that quadratic function can have and why?

Hi Barb,

Any quadratic function will have exactly one y-intercept. Parabolae (the shape of quadratic functions) infinity either increase or decrease so there has to be a y-value where x=0.

Think of the x-axis as a horizontal line, how many times could a horizontal line cross a parabola?

A horizontal line will intersect a parabola 0, 1 or 2 times so that is the possible number of intercepts.

Hope this helps,





About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS