# How to Distinguish Between Linear & Nonlinear

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Distinguishing between the terms linear and non-linear is pretty straightforward if you just keep a few important things in mind. Distinguish between linear and non-linear with help from a mathematics educator with over a decade of experience in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Math Teacher Tips
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## Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, and we're here to talk about how to distinguish between linear and non-linear. Now linear is actually one of those pretty straightforward functions out there and you could say that there's linear and there's everything else which is why they're called non-linear so let's talk about some of the characteristics between the two and you'll see how to be able to distinguish between the two. Now linear let's start off with a graph, linear functions is basically that of a line. It could be upward, downward, or horizontal. There's also vertical lines but vertical lines are not considered functions so I won't draw that. Now non-linear is basically a graph that's not that of a line. It can be a curve. It can be a split graph like that or any graph that's not that of a line. Now also, a linear function, is that of degree 1, meaning X to the first only, okay. Non-linear, not degree 1 when it comes to a polynomial which you're talking about X squared, X cubed, X to the tenth, etc., but also non-linear can be thought of as non-polynomials. For example, you may have the square root of X. You could have X to the 1.6 or even negative exponents just like so. So after a while it's pretty straightforward to distinguish between linear and non-linear given the fact that linear has some very fixed properties and non-linear can actually go all over the place. So, I'm Jimmy Chang, and there are a few tips on how to distinguish between linear and non-linear.

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