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When something varies in direct proportion to something else it is written as y ∝ x. This shows a directly proportional relationship between y and x and can be written as an equation: y = kx, where k is the ratio of y to x. Inverse proportionality is when something varies as something else varies inversely, so if x gets bigger, y gets smaller by the same absolute amount. This is written: y ∝ 1/x and this can also be written as an equation: y = k/x.
Zanzi has now come to the end of her studies in algebra and feels she needs to rest. She looks at the bed and thinks she'd like to sleep on it. She notices that the bed is relatively small compared to the huge beds she slept in in the Academy. The dimensions of the bed seem much more appropriate for her size, a bit more proportional for her size you could say.