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FUNCTIONS (PART 2)

Common Functions and their Graphs


(A)

Constant function
A function f(x) is a constant function if f(x) = k, where k is some constant, i.e. the value of f(x) does not
depend upon the value of x. So, f(x) = 3 is an example of a constant function.
The graph of a constant function is a straight line parallel to the axis, as shown below.

y-axis
f(x) = 3
(0, 3)
x-axis

(B)

Polynomial functions
In the earlier chapters, we have learnt about polynomial functions. So, we can have linear functions of the
type ax + b, quadratic functions of the type ax2 + bx + c, cubic functions of the type ax3 + bx2 + cx + d,
and so on. In each of these, a 0.
The graph of a linear function is always a straight line. Figure below shows the graph of f(x) = 4x 2.

y-axis

f(x) = 4 x - 2
(, 0)
x-axis

(0, -2)

We have already seen that the graph of a quadratic function is a parabola. Figure below shows the graph
of f(x) = x2 5x + 6.
y-axis

0
x-axis

(2, 0)

(3, 0)

Figure below shows the graph of a cubic function, f(x) = x3.

y-axis
f(x) = x

x-axis

Figure below shows the graph of a cubic function, f(x) = (x 1)(x 2)(x 3), which intersects x-axis at x
= 1, 2 and 3.

y-axis
f(x) = (x - 1)(x - 2)(x - 3)
0
x-axis

(C)

Reciprocal Function
1
The function, f(x) = is called reciprocal function. Figure below shows the graph of f(x).
x

y-axis
f(x) = 1/x

x-axis

a
, where a is some constant. The shape of the graph
x
remains the same, though values of f(x) for different values of x will be different as is apparent from
above graph.
More general form of reciprocal function is, f(x) =

(D)

Logarithmic and Exponential Functions


The logarithmic function is f(x) = log x. Below is presented the graph of f(x) = log x.

y-axis
f(x) = log x
x-axis

(1, 0)

The graph of exponential function, f(x) = ex is drawn below.

y-axis
f(x) = e

(0, 1)
x-axis
The more general form of exponential function is f(x) = ax. There are two variants to the graph of this
function, depending upon whether a > 1 or 0 < a < 1. The graphs of both the variants are drawn below.

y-axis

y-axis

a>1
f(x) = a

0<a<1

f(x) = a

(0, 1)

(0, 1)
x-axis

x-axis

The exponential function of ax where a > 0, will never be negative for any value of x. The least value that
it can have is 0 when x tends to negative infinity.
(E)

Modulus function
A function f(x) = |x| is called a modulus function. The function f(x) only takes the magnitude of x.
By definition,
f(x) = x
if x 0
f(x) = x
if x < 0
The graph of the modulus function is drawn below.

y-axis
f(x) = |x|
x-axis
We can also draw the graph of variants to modulus function. E.g., below are the graphs of |x + 1|, |x| + 2
and |x 2| + 1.

y-axis

f(x) = |x - 2| + 1

f(x) = |x + 1|

(0, 3)

f(x) = |x| + 2
(0, 2)

(2, 1)
(-1, 0)

x-axis

x-axis

x-axis

y-axis
y-axis
To locate the vertex of the modulus graph, we put the term inside the modulus function as zero and then
find the value of f(x). So, to find the minimum value of f(x) = |x + 1|, put x + 1 = 0, which gives x = 1 and
hence f(x) = 0. So, vertex of the graph is (1, 0).
(F)

Greatest Integer Function, or G.I.F.


A function f(x) = [x] is the greatest integer function (also called step function or integer function). The
value of f(x) is the greatest integer less than or equal to x for all x A.
f(x) = 0, where 0 x < 1
f(x) = 1, where 1 x < 2
f(x) = 1, where 1 x < 0
e.g.
[2.75] = 2; [3.489] = 3; [7] = 7; [3.29] = 4, and so on.
Based on this, we can draw the graph of [x].

y-axis
f(x) = [x]
x-axis
-4 -3 -2 -1

1 2 3 4

The dotted lines are not part of the graph. The solid filled circles are also shown in the graph. The solid circle
shows which value of the function will be taken for a particular value of x, in case of confusion. So, e.g., at x = 2,
the value of [x] to be taken is 2 and not 1, whereas purely looking at the graph leaves some scope of confusion.
(G)

Fractional Function

The function f(x) = (x) is the fractional function. The value of f(x) is the fractional component of the value of x.
For example, (2.75) = 0.75; (3.489) = 0.489; (7) = 0; (3.29) = 0.71. Note that in the last example, 3.29 can be
written as 4 + 0.71 and hence the fractional component is 0.71.
From this, we can surely say that [x] + (x) = x for all real x. This is an important standard result. The graph of (x)
is drawn below. The dotted line is not part of the graph.

y-axis
f(x) = (x)

-4 -3 -2 -1

1 2 3 4 x-axis

If [x] is greatest integer function and (x) is the fractional function and [x2] = 2 and (x2) = 0.89, then find the
value of [x3].
[x2] + (x2) = x2 = 2 + 0.89 = 2.89. So, x = 1.7 and hence [x3] = [4.913] = 4.
Solve for x: |2x 5| = 7.
5
When x > , then |2x 5| = 2x 5. So, equation becomes
2
2x 5 = 7 x = 6, which is compatible with the fact that x is more than
When x <

5
.
2

5
, then |2x 5| = 5 2x. So, equation becomes
2

5
.
2
So, x = 6, 1. We can verify the answer by putting these values of x in the given equation. So,
|2(6) 5| = |12 5| = |7| = 7; and
|2(1) 5| = |2 5| = |7| = 7.
5 2x = 7 x = 1, which is compatible with the fact that x is less than

Solve for x: |2x 5| + |x 4| = 6.


|x 4| = x 4
when x 4
= (x 4)
when x < 4
Similarly,
5
|2x 5| = 2x 5
when x
2
5
= (2x 5)
when x <
2
Combining, we get
|2x 5| + |x 4| = (2x 5) + (x 4)

when x 4
5
= (2x 5) (x 4)
when x < 4
2
5
= (2x 5) (x 4)
when x <
2
So, when x 4, equation becomes: (2x 5) + (x 4) = 6 x = 5, which is compatible with the premise that x 4.
So, x = 4 is part of the solution.

When

5
x < 4, equation becomes: (2x 5) (x 4) = 6 x = 15, which is not compatible with the premise
2

5
x < 4. So, x = 15 is not a part of the solution.
2
5
When x < , equation becomes: (2x 5) (x 4) = 6 x = 1, which is compatible with the premise that x <
2
5
. So, x = 1 is part of the solution.
2
So, our final solution is: x = 1, 5.
that

Find the number of intersections of the graph of y = |x 1| |x + 2| with x-axis.


The given curve of y will intersect x-axis when y = 0, i.e. |x 1| = |x + 2|. We can solve this equation by simply
1
squaring both sides. So, (x 1)2 = (x + 2)2 x2 2x + 1 = x2 + 4x + 4 6x = 3 x = . So, the graph of y
2
will intersect x-axis only once.
Find the number of intersections of the graph of y = x2 5x + 6 with the graph of y = |x 3| + 2.
The two curves will intersect when both are equal to each other. Now,
|x 3| + 2 = x 3 + 2 = x 1
when x 3
= (x 3) + 2 = x + 5
when x < 3
6 62 4 7
= 3 2 .
2
2 . Similarly, when x < 3, then x2 5x + 6 = 5 x x2 4x + 1 =

So, when x 3, then x2 5x + 6 = x 1 x2 6x + 7 = 0 x =


Since x 3, the acceptable solution is x = 3 +

4 42 4 1
= 2 3 . Since x < 3, the acceptable solution is x = 2
2
intersections is 2.

0x=

3 . So, the number of

Which function is represented by the following graph?

(2, 3)

A]
f(x) = (x 2)2 + 3
B]
f(x) = (x + 2)2 3
2
C]
f(x) = (x 2) + 3
D]
f(x) = (x + 2)2 + 3
The graph opens downwards. So, the coefficient of x2 must be negative. The maximum value of the function is 3
at x = 2. This is possible only in [A].
The graph of y = log x and y =
A]

2 < x < 2.5

B]

2
intersect at a point which satisfies
x
2.5 < x < 3
C]
3 < x < 3.5

D]

x > 3.5

2
x log x = 2 log xx = 2 xx = 102 = 100.
x
Now, 33 = 27 and 44 = 256. So, x lies between 3 and 4. When x = 3.5, then xx = 3.53.5 = 3.53 3.5 = 42.875 3.5 <
42.875 2 = 85.75. So, x is more than 3.5

When they intersect, log x =

1
(x 1.75) = 0.
2x
1
1
Given equation is: x = (x 1.75). Draw the graph of y = x and y = x 1.75.
2
2

Solve for x:

y-axis

f(x) = 1/2

x-axis

We know that y = x 1.75 intersects y-axis (when x = 0) at (0, 1.75) and hence this line intersects x-axis at x =
1.75. We can see from the graph that the x coordinate of point of intersection is more than 1.75. Checking x = 2,
we realize that it satisfies the given equation. Since there is only 1 point of intersection, the solution of the given
equation is: x = 2.

Draw the graphs of f(x) = log |x| and f(x) = |log x|.
Following are the graphs of the given functions.

f(x) = log|x|
f(x) = |log x|

The dotted portion shown in the second graph is the portion of f(x) = log x, which gets shifted to first quadrant
because modulus function is always positive.

Draw the graphs of:


(i) |x 1| + |x 2| and find the minimum value of the function
(ii) |x 1| + |x 2| + |x 3| and find the minimum value of the function
(iii) |x2 4x + 3| and find the value(s) of x for which the value of the function is not positive.
The graphs are drawn below:

(0, 6)
(0, 3)
(1, 3)
(1, 1)

(3, 3)
(2, 2)

(2, 1)

|x - 1| + |x - 2| + | x - 3|

|x - 1| + |x - 2|

x - 4x + 3
(0, 3)

(1, 0)

(3, 0)

The minimum value of |x 1| + |x 2| is when 1 x 2 and the minimum value is 1. The minimum value of |x
1| + |x 2| + |x 3| is when x = 2 and the minimum value is 2. So, |x2 4x + 3| is always positive except when it is
equal to 0 which happens when x = 1 or 3.

Directions for following questions: Refer to the data below and answer the questions that follow.
If x is a real number and a & b are non-negative integers, then
g(x) = greatest integer less than or equal to x
s(x) = smallest integer greater than or equal to x
r(a, b) = remainder when a is divided by b
Which out of the following options represents the value of r(a, b)?
b
b
a b +1
a b s
A]
a b g
B]
a
C]
a bs
D]

b
a
a

Lets assume non-negative values for a and b and try to verify the given options
Suppose a = 24 and b = 7 r(a, b) = r(24,7) = 3
b
7
Option [A] = a b g = 24 7 g 24 7 g ( 0.3) = 24 7 0 = 24 r ( a, b )
a
24
Option [B] = 24, which is not equal to r(a, b)
b
7
Option [C] = a b s = 24 7 s 24 7 s ( 0.3) = 24 7 1 = 17 r ( a, b )
a
24
24 7 + 1
18
Option [D] = 24 7 s
= 24 7 s = 24 7 s ( 2.57 ) = 24 7 3 = 3 = r ( a, b )
7

7
Symmetricity of functions
The graph of even functions is symmetrical about y-axis (and vice versa), whereas the graph of odd functions is
symmetrical about origin, or symmetrical in opposite quadrants (and vice versa). If the graph is neither even nor
odd then its graph is symmetrical neither about y-axis nor about origin (and vice versa). So, graphs of |x| and x2

are symmetrical about y-axis. Similarly, graphs of x and x3 are symmetrical in opposite quadrants. Graphs of log x
and ex are symmetrical in neither way.
Also, the graphs of a function and its inverse are symmetrical about the line y = x. For example, the graph of f(x) =
x
3x and its inverse f1(x) = is symmetrical about the line y = x, as shown below.
3

y = 3x
y=x
y = x/3

The graph of f(x) = |x 3| + 5 is symmetrical about


A]
x-axis
B]
y-axis
C]
[C]
Draw the graph of f(x) and observe.

x=3

D]

x=5

The graph of f(x) = log |x| is symmetrical about


A]
x-axis
B]
y-axis
C]
origin
D]
the graph is not symmetrical
In an earlier example, we have drawn the graph of log |x|, and we observe that the graph is symmetrical about yaxis, and is hence an even function which we can prove algebraically also. So, the correct option is [B].
The graph of f(x) = 2x3 + 5x is symmetrical about
A]
x-axis
B]
y-axis
C]
origin
D]
the graph is not symmetrical
Since f(x) is an odd function (prove is yourself algebraically), the graph is symmetrical about origin.
If f(x) is symmetrical about origin, then f(x) is symmetrical about
A]
x-axis
B]
y-axis
C]
origin
D]
the graph is not symmetrical
Since f(x) is symmetrical about origin, it is an odd function and hence f(x) = f(x) and hence f(x) is also
symmetrical about origin.
Rotation of graphs
Let the graph of f(x) is as drawn below. Then, we can also draw the graphs of f(x), f(x) and f(x) by rotating
the graph of f(x) in a specific manner.

y-axis
f(x)

(1, 0)

x-axis

To draw the graph of f(x), rotate the graph of f(x) about y-axis. We get the following graph.

y-axis
f(- x)

(-1, 0)

x-axis

Similarly, to draw the graph of f(x), rotate the graph of f(x) about x-axis and to draw the graph of f(x), rotate
the graph of f(x) about x-axis followed by y-axis (or rotate f(x) about y-axis followed by x-axis). Following are the
graphs of f(x) and f(x) respectively.

y-axis
(1, 0)

(-1, 0)

x-axis

x-axis
-f( x)

-f(-x)
y-axis

If general, if sign of independent variable changes, then the graph is rotated about y-axis and if the sign of
function changes, then the graph is rotated about x-axis. If both the signs change, then the graph is rotated about
both the axes, one by one (in any order).

If graph of f(x) is as drawn below, draw the graph of f(x).

y-axis
(1, 1)
x-axis

f(x) is obtained by changing the sign of variable as well as the function in f(x), the graph of
f(x) is obtained by rotating the given graph about both the axes one by one (in any order). We get the following
graph.
y-axis

x-axis
(-1, -1)