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You are on page 1of 6

Basic Functions

In several sections you will be applying shifts and transformations to these basic functions.

So, its very important that you put these graphs and their equations to memory.

Identity Function

f ( x) = x

f ( x) = x

Squaring Function

f ( x) = x 2

Cubing Function

f ( x) = x 3

f ( x) = 3 x

f ( x) = x

Above, you were presented with some Basic Functions. Next, you will apply vertical and

horizontal shifts to those functions to create new ones. These shifts are called

transformations.

*Note-The identity function was one of the basic functions listed, but we wont be applying any

shifts to that one. The graph is just a straight line, and weve learned more proficient ways to

graph lines in chapter 1.

Vertical Shifts

f ( x) + C

f ( x) C

(C is a real #)

Vertical shift DOWN C units

Ex: Graph the following.

1. f(x) = |x| - 3

This function comes from the basic function f(x) = |x| with the constant 3 subtracted on the

outside. This gives the basic function a vertical shift DOWN 3 units. So, take the basic graph

of f(x) = |x| and shift it DOWN 3 units. You will get the following graph:

1. f(x) = x2 + 5

This function comes from the basic function f(x) = x2 with the constant 5 added to the outside.

This gives the basic function a vertical shift UP 5 units. So, take the basic graph of f(x) = x2

and shift UP 5 units. You will get the following graph:

Horizontal Shifts

f (x + C)

f (x C)

(C is a real #)

Vertical shift RIGHT C units

Ex: Graph the following.

3.

f ( x) =

x6

This function comes from the basic function f ( x) = x with the constant 6 subtracted on the

inside. This gives the basic function a horizontal shift RIGHT 6 units. So, take the basic graph

of f ( x) = x and shift RIGHT 6 units. You will get the following graph:

4. f ( x ) = 3 x + 2

This function comes from the basic function f ( x) = 3 x with the constant 2 added on the

inside. This gives the basic function a horizontal shift LEFT 2 units. So, take the basic graph

of f ( x) = 3 x and shift LEFT 2 units. You will get the following graph:

You can also have combinations of vertical and horizontal shifts as well. Lets consider the

following example.

5. Graph: f(x) = (x 1)2 + 4

This function comes from the base function f(x) = x2. Since 1 is subtracted on the inside, this

is a horizontal shift RIGHT 1 unit, and since 4 is added on the outside, this is a vertical shift

UP 4 units. Apply the transformations, and we get the following graph:

On some examples, they may not ask you to graph at all, but only list the transformations. So

on example 5, the transformations would be shifted right 1 unit and up 4 units.

You could also be asked to go in the opposite direction. For example, you could be given the

graph and asked to write the corresponding equation. Lets look at an example such as this

one.

Well, looking at the graph, we know that its a transformation on the function f(x) = |x|. Since

the base of the function has been shifted right 3 units and down 4 units, that tells us we have

- 3 inside the function and

- 4 outside the function. Thus, the function is

f(x) = |x 3| - 4

You could also be asked to apply transformations to functions that ARE NOT basic functions.

The process is still the same. Lets look at one of these examples.

7. Given the function of f(x) below:

To graph f(x-2)+1, we need to shift the function of f(x) right 2 units and up 1 unit. The easiest

way to do this is to do it point by point. Once we have applied the transformations to each

point, we get the following graph:

Here, you will learn three more transformations to apply to the basic functions, stretching,

shrinking and reflecting.

Reflecting

-f(x)

f(-x)

Reflection about the x-axis.

Reflection about the y-axis.

1. Graph: f(x) = -x3

This is a transformation on the basic function f(x) = x3. Since the negative is on the outside of

the function, there is a reflection about the x-axis. This gives us the following graph:

2. Graph: f ( x ) =

x +2

on the inside of the radical that gives us a reflection about the y-axis. We also have +2 on

the outside of the function, so this gives us a shift UP 2 units. When we apply the

transformations to the basic graph, we get the following:

Now lets look at the last two transformations, stretching and shrinking. Stretching and

shrinking occurs when you multiply the function by a constant.

Cf(x), where C is a real number > 0

If C > 0, then f(x) has a vertical STRETCH by a factor of C units.

If 0 < C < 1, then f(x) has a vertical SHRINK by a factor of C units.

Lets look at these transformations by comparing a few graphs in your calculator. Lets

sketch the graphs of the following in the calculator:

Y1 = x2

Y2 = (1/3)x2

Y3 = 10x2

You get the following graphs (in their respective colors):

As you can see, when you multiply by a constant less than 1, you get a vertical shrink (the

graph become wider). When you multiply by a constant greater than 1, you get a vertical

stretch (the graph becomes skinnier).

*You may also have to apply these transformations given the function of f(x), as we did before.

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