Understanding the properties of graphed functions is fundamental in mathematics, as it helps us interpret and analyze various mathematical phenomena. When examining a graphed function, several key characteristics need to be considered, such as domain and range, intercepts, asymptotes, continuity, differentiability, and behavior at infinity. This article will explore these characteristics in detail to help determine which statements can be true about a given graphed function.

**Introduction to Graphed Functions**

A function is a relation between a set of inputs and a set of permissible outputs, with the property that each input is related to exactly one output. When graphed on a coordinate plane, functions can take various forms, including linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and more. Each type of function has distinct features that can be analyzed graphically.

**Key Characteristics of Graphed Functions**

**1. Domain and Range**

**Domain** refers to the set of all possible input values (x-values) for which the function is defined, while **range** refers to the set of all possible output values (y-values) the function can produce.

**Statement**: “The domain of the graphed function is all real numbers.”

This statement is true for many functions, such as linear and most polynomial functions. However, functions like the square root function or the reciprocal function have restricted domains.

**Statement**: “The range of the graphed function is all real numbers.”

This can be true for linear functions and some polynomial functions, but it is not true for functions like quadratic functions (which have a minimum or maximum value) or exponential functions (which have asymptotes).

**2. Intercepts**

**Intercepts** are the points where the graph of the function crosses the axes. The **x-intercept** is where the function crosses the x-axis (y=0), and the **y-intercept** is where the function crosses the y-axis (x=0).

**Statement**: “The graphed function has one x-intercept and one y-intercept.”

This is true for many functions, including linear functions, which typically have exactly one of each. However, functions like quadratic functions can have more than one x-intercept (if the parabola crosses the x-axis at two points) or none (if it does not cross the x-axis at all).

**3. Asymptotes**

**Asymptotes** are lines that the graph of a function approaches but never actually reaches. There are three types: vertical, horizontal, and oblique.

**Statement**: “The graphed function has a horizontal asymptote at y=0.”

This statement is true for functions such as exponential decay functions. For example, the function f(x)=1xf(x) = \frac{1}{x}f(x)=x1 has a horizontal asymptote at y=0.

**Statement**: “The graphed function has a vertical asymptote at x=2.”

This can be true for rational functions where the denominator is zero at x=2, such as f(x)=1x−2f(x) = \frac{1}{x-2}f(x)=x−21.

**4. Continuity**

A function is **continuous** if there are no breaks, holes, or gaps in its graph. For a function to be continuous at a point, it must be defined at that point, the limit as x approaches the point must exist, and the limit must equal the function’s value at that point.

**Statement**: “The graphed function is continuous for all x.”

This statement is true for polynomial functions, which are continuous everywhere, but not for functions with vertical asymptotes or piecewise functions with breaks.

**5. Differentiability**

A function is **differentiable** at a point if it has a derivative at that point. Differentiability implies continuity, but a continuous function is not necessarily differentiable.

**Statement**: “The graphed function is differentiable for all x.”

This statement is true for polynomial functions, but functions with sharp corners (like absolute value functions) or vertical tangents (like f(x)=x1/3f(x) = x^{1/3}f(x)=x1/3 at x=0) are not differentiable at those points.

**6. Behavior at Infinity**

The **behavior of a function at infinity** describes how the function behaves as x approaches positive or negative infinity.

**Statement**: “As x approaches infinity, the function approaches a constant value.”

This statement is true for functions with horizontal asymptotes. For example, f(x)=1xf(x) = \frac{1}{x}f(x)=x1 approaches 0 as x approaches infinity.

**Statement**: “As x approaches negative infinity, the function decreases without bound.”

This can be true for functions like f(x)=−x2f(x) = -x^2f(x)=−x2, which decreases to negative infinity as x approaches negative infinity.

**Analyzing Specific Graphed Functions**

To determine which specific statements are true about a graphed function, consider the following types of functions:

**Linear Functions**

Linear functions have the form f(x)=mx+bf(x) = mx + bf(x)=mx+b.

- Domain and Range: All real numbers.
- Intercepts: One x-intercept and one y-intercept unless the line is horizontal or vertical.
- Asymptotes: None.
- Continuity: Continuous everywhere.
- Differentiability: Differentiable everywhere.
- Behavior at Infinity: Increases or decreases without bound depending on the slope.

**Quadratic Functions**

Quadratic functions have the form f(x)=ax2+bx+cf(x) = ax^2 + bx + cf(x)=ax2+bx+c.

- Domain: All real numbers.
- Range: y≥ky \geq ky≥k or y≤ky \leq ky≤k, where k is the vertex’s y-coordinate.
- Intercepts: Up to two x-intercepts, one y-intercept.
- Asymptotes: None.
- Continuity: Continuous everywhere.
- Differentiability: Differentiable everywhere.
- Behavior at Infinity: Increases or decreases without bound depending on the leading coefficient.

**Exponential Functions**

Exponential functions have the form f(x)=a⋅bxf(x) = a \cdot b^xf(x)=a⋅bx.

- Domain: All real numbers.
- Range: Positive real numbers for growth, negative for decay.
- Intercepts: One y-intercept.
- Asymptotes: Horizontal asymptote, typically y=0.
- Continuity: Continuous everywhere.
- Differentiability: Differentiable everywhere.
- Behavior at Infinity: Increases without bound for growth, approaches zero for decay.

**Rational Functions**

Rational functions have the form f(x)=p(x)q(x)f(x) = \frac{p(x)}{q(x)}f(x)=q(x)p(x).

- Domain: Excludes x-values where q(x)=0q(x) = 0q(x)=0.
- Range: Depends on the function.
- Intercepts: Determined by the numerator and denominator.
- Asymptotes: Vertical at zeros of the denominator, horizontal or oblique depending on degrees of numerator and denominator.
- Continuity: Discontinuous at vertical asymptotes.
- Differentiability: Not differentiable at points of discontinuity.
- Behavior at Infinity: Depends on the degrees of the numerator and denominator.

**Conclusion**

Determining which statement is true about a graphed function involves analyzing its domain, range, intercepts, asymptotes, continuity, differentiability, and behavior at infinity. By understanding these characteristics, one can accurately describe and interpret various types of functions. Each function type has distinct properties that can be identified through careful examination of its graph, enabling a deeper understanding of the mathematical principles at play.

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