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To find the gradient of a tangent to a curve y=f(x) at a given point x=a:
firstly differentiate the equation of the curve in order to find \displaystyle\frac{dy}{dx} ,
secondly substitute into this expression the value x=a.

## Summary/Background

If y = ax^n then \displaystyle\frac{dy}{dx} = anx^{n-1} and if y = a then \displaystyle \frac{dy}{dx} = 0, where a is a constant.
These work for all values of n, positive or negative, decimal or fraction.

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## Glossary

### differentiate

to find the derivative of a function

### equation

A statement that two mathematical expressions are equal.