A translation moves a shape up, down or from side to side but it does not change its appearance in any other way.

Translation is an example of a transformation. A transformation is a way of changing the size or position of a shape.

Every point in the shape is translated the same distance in the same direction.

Triangle (PQR) moved down 3 squares and right 4 squares

Describing translations

Column vectors are used to describe translations.

\begin{pmatrix} 4 \\ -3 \end{pmatrix} means translate the shape 4 squares to the right and 3 squares down.

\begin{pmatrix} -2 \\ 1 \end{pmatrix} means translate the shape 2 squares to the left and 1 square up.

Vectors are given in the form \begin{pmatrix} x \\ y \end{pmatrix} where x is the movement horizontally and y is the movement vertically. A positive value of x means a movement to the right and a negative value of x means a movement to the left. A positive value of y means a movement upwards and a negative value of y means a movement downwards.


Describe the transformation of the shape DEFG.

Transformation of shape (DEFG)

The shape has been translated by the vector \begin{pmatrix} -3 \\ -6 \end{pmatrix}. The shape has moved three units to the left and six units down.