Posted by **Michelle** on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 12:44pm.

What similarities and differences are there between functions and linear equations? Are all linear equations functions? Is there an instance when a linear equation is not a function?

- Algebra -
**drwls**, Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 1:47pm
A function is a rule that explains how one variable can be computed from one or more other variables. A linear equation of the form y = mx + b is a function.

If you have an equation without ONLY one variable on one side, it is technically not a function, in my opinion.

b = mx - y and m = y/x are not explicit functions as written, if m and b are constants, but can be rewritten as linear functions. Those might be called implicit functions.

I think one get lost in semantics with questions like this. I wonder whether it really helps in teaching math.

- Algebra -
**Sean Micheals**, Friday, May 6, 2011 at 2:29pm
With a function, for every X there is only one Y. With linear equations, for every X, there can be more than one Y.

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