# What is independent variable?

## What Does independent variable Mean

The variables are, in the field of mathematics, symbols appearing in a function , one formula , one proposition or an algorithm . Their main characteristic is that they have the ability to adopt different values .

When the value of a quantity depends exclusively on the value of another quantity, a mathematical function is established . This second magnitude, which determines the value of the first, is called the independent variable . Instead, the magnitude whose value depends on the other acts as a dependent variable .
It is important that we know that this term is made up of two words that, etymologically speaking, come from Latin:

-Variable derives from “variabilis”, which means that something can change its appearance and that it is made up of two different parts: the verb “ variare ”(change aspect) and the suffix“ -able ”, which is used to indicate possibility.

-Independent, on the other hand, is the result of the union of three Latin components: the prefix “in-”, which indicates negation; the verb "dependre", which can be translated as "being under the will of another"; and the suffix “-nte”, which is used to record the “agent”.

In addition to all the information that we have provided on the aforementioned independent variable, it is necessary to know other data of interest such as these:

-When used in the field of mathematics or statistics, it is represented by the "x".

-In your case, it always develops on what is known as the abscissa axis.

-Also in some sectors it is referred to as a manipulated variable.

-It is characterized because values ​​are assigned that are arbitrary.

-Within these are the control variables, which modify the rest of the independent ones and which can alter a result due to bias.
Take the case of a man who has to go from his home to his place of work, 10 kilometers away . The time that cover the path delay will depend on the speed with which it moves. In this way, we can establish a function where speed is the independent variable that determines the duration of the trip (dependent variable).
If this person decides to travel on a train moving at a constant speed of 60 kilometers per hour , it will take him 10 minutes to get to his place of work. On the other hand, if you prefer to go to work in a bus that travels at 45 kilometers per hour , the duration of the trip will be just over 13 minutes .
As can be seen in the example, the independent variable of this function is the speed , while the travel time is the dependent variable. How long the trip takes depends on the speed: the speed, in this function, depends on itself.

Importantly, this is a theoretical example that helps to understand what an independent variable is. In real life, the speed of a means of transport is usually not constant and even varies throughout the day.
Simple examples of what an independent variable is are these:

-The price we pay for some potatoes, a dependent variable, will depend on the number of kilos of potatoes we buy, an independent variable.

-The cost of a taxi trip, a dependent variable, is given by what is the time that the journey lasts, an independent variable.

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