can someone pls pls explain to me this law ion the most simplest of words, with egs, pls dont copy and paste the online definitions, ive seen them all, i just need to understand it from someone whose understood it very nicely already , pls, with examples!

rosala  Jul 9, 2017


Hi, rosala.....good to see you.....!!!


Reciprocal propotions have the property  that, as one variable increases, the other decreases. We also usually have something known as the "proportionality constant " to deal with. The way these problems usually work is that they will tell  you the initial value of the two variables. This will usually lead us to solve for  the proportionality constant. Then, they will ask you for the value of one of the variables, given the value of the other one.....Here's an example.....


Let's suppose that  x =  6 when  y = 3......so we have this form....


y =  k / x          where "k"  is the proportionality constant  that we need to find


So....substituting for x and y, we have that


3  =  k / 6        multiply both sides by 6


18  =  k    so......this is the proportionality constant


Now......find y when  x =  36  ......so we have


y =   18 / 36


y = 1/2


Did you happen to notice that when  x = 6 , y = 3  ??


But as x increased to 36, y decreased to 1/2 ......this is what should happen in a reciprocal proportion....one variable increases and the other decreases


We can have it the other way, too.....let y  = 36  and find x .....so we have


36  =  18 / x    multiply both sides by x and divide both sides by 36


x = 18 / 36  =  1 / 2


So this time....when y increased from 3 to 36, x decreased from 6 to 1/2   !!!!


There may be other types of these problems, but this is the basic gist of reciprocal proportions.....hope that helped.....!!!!



cool cool cool

CPhill  Jul 9, 2017

CPhill: As an aside "The Law of Reciprocal Proportion" has an entirely different meaning in Chemistry, when it comes to two substances reacting with each other, and with a third substance. It is possible that she is referring to that. Just a thought.

Guest Jul 9, 2017


Ah....OK.....can't help her there....!!!!




cool cool cool

CPhill  Jul 9, 2017

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