We think you are located in United States. Is this correct?

Transformations on the Cartesian Plane

Test yourself now

High marks in science are the key to your success and future plans. Test yourself and learn more on Siyavula Practice.

Sign up and test yourself

24.3 Transformations on the Cartesian plane

Types of transformations

A transformation is a rule that describes a change in the position, orientation or size of a shape. In this section, we look at four types of transformations:

  1. translations (slides)
  2. reflections (flips)
  3. rotations (turns)
  4. enlargements or reductions
translation
a sliding movement over a certain distance
reflection
a flipping movement over a certain line
rotation
a turning movement around a certain point
enlargement or reduction
increasing or decreasing in size

Translating a shape means sliding a shape from one position to another.

Reflecting a shape means flipping a shape over a certain line.

Rotating a shape means turning a shape around a certain point.

Enlarging a shape means making a shape bigger by a certain factor and reducing a shape means making a shape smaller by a certain factor. The value used to make a shape either bigger or smaller is called the scale factor.

scale factor
a ratio between the measurements of an object and the measurements of a representation of that object, where the representation can be bigger or smaller than the actual object