If x stands for any of the real numbers from the set R then x is a variable over R.

For example, if x is the over number in an one-day international cricket match of 50 overs then x is a variable over the set {1, 2, 3, 4, ....., 48, 49, 50}.

Suppose, x is the side of a square and y, its area. Clearly,
both x and y are variables. AS the side of a square changes, its area changes
accordingly by the relation y = x^{2} (by the formula for area of a square). We
say x is an independent variable and y is a dependent variable because value of
x decides the value of y. Now, this is also true that when y changes, x changes according to the relation x = √y.
So, here we can say that y is the independent variable and x is the dependent
variable.

Thus, we find that if there is a relation between two variables x, y then one is the independent variable and the other is the dependent variable.

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