Function Notation

Pronunciation: /ˈfʌŋk ʃən noʊˈteɪ ʃən/ ?

f(x) = 3x + 2 where f(x) is the dependent variable, f is the function name, and x is the independent variable.
Figure 1: Function notation diagram

Function notation is a way to write functions that clarifies the name of the function, the independent variables, the dependent variables, and the transformation rule.

In the example on the right, f(x) is the dependent variable, f is the function name, x is the independent variable, and 3x + 2 is the transformation rule.


  1. Bettinger, Alvin K. and Englund, John A.. Algebra and Trigonometry, pg 55. International Textbook Company, January 1963. (Accessed: 2010-01-12).
  2. Goldrei, D.C.. Classic Set Theory: For Guided Independent Study, pg 4. Chapman & Hall Mathematics, July 1, 1996.
  3. Long, Edith and Brenke, W. C.. Algebra, First Course, pp 206-213. The Century Co., 1913. (Accessed: 2010-02-05).
  4. Ron Larson, Robert P. Hostetler. College Algebra, 7th ed., pp 191-192. Brooks Cole, January 5, 2006. (Accessed: 2010-02-05).

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Cite this article as:

Function Notation. 2010-02-05. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.


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Revision History

2010-02-05: Added "References" (McAdams, David.)
2008-08-02: Added transformation rule (McAdams, David.)
2008-07-01: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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