Proportion is used to show how quantities and amounts are related to each other. The amount that quantities change in relation to each other is governed by proportion rules.

There is a **direct proportion** between two values when one is a multiple of the other. For example, . To convert cm to mm, the multiplier is always 10. Direct proportion is used to calculate the cost of petrol or exchange rates of foreign money.

The symbol for direct proportion is .

The statement ‘t is directly proportional to r’ can be written using the proportionality symbol:

If then is proportional to and can be calculated for :

Similarly, if then can be calculated:

To find , divide 60 by 2:

Proportionality can be used to set up an equation.

There are four steps to do this:

- write the proportional relationship
- convert to an equation using a constant of proportionality
- use given information to find the constant of proportionality
- substitute the constant of proportionality into the equation

The value is directly proportional to . When , . Find an equation relating and .

- so

This equation can now be used to calculate other values of and .

If then, .

If one value is **inversely proportional** to another then it is written using the proportionality symbol in a different way. Inverse proportion occurs when one value increases and the other decreases. For example, more workers on a job would reduce the time to complete the task. They are inversely proportional.

The statement ‘b is inversely proportional to m’ is written:

Equations involving inverse proportions can be used to calculate other values.

Using: (so is inversely proportional to ).

If then find .

Similarly, if , find .

Proportionality can be used to set up an equation.

There are four steps to do this:

- write the proportional relationship
- convert to an equation using a constant of proportionality
- use given information to find the constant of proportionality
- substitute the constant of proportionality into the equation

If is inversely proportional to w and when , , then form an equation relating to .

- so

This equation can be used to calculate new values of and .

If then find .

Similarly, if , find .