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Think about how you might sketch a parabola.

  1. Do the sides of a parabola ever curve in as in the figure at the right? Explain your reasoning.

    No, because there is only one -value for every -value in a parabola.

  2. Do the sides of the parabola approach straight vertical lines as shown in the figure at right? (In other words, do parabolas have vertical asymptotes?) Give a reason for your answer.

    The domain of a parabola is all real numbers, so the graph must extend all the way left and right. Hence it never goes straight up.

A vertical oval, with opening at the top so that the ends appear to come together, but don't meet. A U, in between 2 vertical lines.