Ask Uncle Colin: Why does the line with equation $10y+36x=16.5$ have a gradient of -3.6? | Colin

Ask Uncle Colin is a chance to ask your burning, possibly embarrassing, maths questions — and to show off your skills at coming up with clever acronyms. Send your questions to colin@flyingcoloursmaths.co.uk and Uncle Colin will do what he can.

Dear Uncle Colin,

I’ve got a line with equation $10y+36x=16.5$. That equation has no negative numbers in it, yet its gradient is apparently negative. I don’t understand why.

— Silly Line, Only Positive Equation

Dear SLOPE,

It looks like we’re in misconception-land! In fact, you can write the equation of any line without negative signs by…

Continue reading at:
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