Originally Posted by

**Jhevon** the y' is actually short for dy/dx

i think i told you what this notation meant before, dy/dx means "the derivative of y with respect to x"

in implicit differentiation we have to take account of what variable we are differentiating, and what variable we are differentiating with respect to. in the question you posted, you wanted to take the derivative with respect to x. so when we take the derivative of an x term, we attach dx/dx (we took "the derivative of x with respect to x"), however, since derivative notations can function as fractions, the dx's cancel and it becomes 1, so you don't see it, since it's like multiplying by one. however, when we take the derivative of a y term, we attach dy/dx (since we took "the derivative of y with respect to x"), and that doesn't cancel, so it stays. we write y' when it's understood what we are differentiating with respect to.

we need implicit differentiation to differentiate when we have mixed terms that we can't really separate. it would be hard to solve for y and then find y' that way, so we do it implicitly