What is the 'chain rule'?

The chain rule is incredibly useful when differentiating compositions of funcions. 


Until now you have really only met dy/dx as your derivative. By imagining dy/dx as a fraction, you can transform it into something using another parameter, for example t.


For example, just how 1/2 x 2/3 = 2/6 (multiply numerater, multiply denominator), dy/dx x dt/dy = dydt/dxdy, and the 'dy' values would cancel, giving dt/dx. This is only for this level of mathematics however, as in reality, you can't treat dy/dx as a fraction!



James A. GCSE Science tutor, A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, A...

2 years ago

Answered by James, an A Level Maths tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


PremiumTimothy N. A Level Design & Technology tutor, GCSE Design & Technolog...
£36 /hr

Timothy N.

Degree: Architecture and Environmental Engineering (Masters) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:Maths, Physics+ 2 more

Design & Technology
-Personal Statements-

“Hi there, I have a passion for helping students achieve, and believe that with my 200+ hours of experience, we will be able to surpass the grades you want!”

£30 /hr

Rachel H.

Degree: Physics and Astronomy with a Year Abroad (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Maths, Science+ 3 more


“Hey, I'm Rachel and I'm Physics graduate from Durham University. My best subjects at school were always science and maths but I also loved languages and art”

£30 /hr

Joe C.

Degree: Mathematics (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:Maths, Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

“Hi, I'm Joe, an experienced tutor and a University of Bristol graduate with a first class Degree in Mathematics.”

About the author

James A.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Natural Sciences (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered:Maths, Physics+ 1 more


“Cambridge undergrad studying Natural Sciences, here to help with A-level and GCSE Maths and Science!”

You may also like...

Other A Level Maths questions

How to translate a function of form y = f(x)

How does one find the inverse of a non-singular 3x3 matrix A?

give the coordinates of the stationary points of the curve y = x^4 - 4x^3 + 27 and state with reason if they are minumum, maximum, or points of inflection.

Given a table showing grouped data and the frequency of each class, find the median Q2

View A Level Maths tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss