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I've been told by people that a graph with a straight line on it can be proportional but only if it passes through the origin. I fail to see why that's true. If a translation was applied and it was moved 1 unit to the right then, all of a sudden, x is not proportional to y anymore? That doesn't make sense to me.To determine experimentally whether two physical quantities are directly proportional, one performs several measurements and plots the resulting data points in a Cartesian coordinate system.If the points lie on or close to a straight line that passes through the origin (0, 0), then the two variables are probably proportional, with the proportionality constant given by the line's slope.