# What Is "x Vs Y"? Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

In math, the term "x vs. y" typically refers to a two-dimensional coordinate plane containing both x and y axes. The x-axis is represented by the horizontal line moving left and right, while the y-axis is represented by the vertical line moving from top to bottom. The x and y coordinates belong to a process known as the Cartesian coordinate system.

When the points on a graph are expressed through the Cartesian coordinate system, they are written in the form (x, y), where x represents the location of the point in terms of the x-axis and y represents the location of the point along the y-axis. Different shapes can also be plotted on an xy-coordinate plane using formulas. For example, a circle is plotted using the formula (x ? a)^2 + (y ? b)^2 = r^2, where (a, b) is the x and y coordinates for the center of the circle and r is the radius. Another commonly used formula is the equation to find the distance between two points, represented as the square root of the difference between the x-coordinates squared minus the difference between the y-coordinates squared. When a coordinate plane is used for three-dimensional mathematics, the plane includes a z-axis in addition the x and y axes, with a single point represented in the form (x, y, z).