Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Suppose we have a continuous function $f : \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$. Suppose also that for a certain point $c$, $\lim_{x \to c} f'(x)$ exists. Must $f'(c)$ exist as well, and be equal to this limit?

This isn't quite the same as asking if derivatives are always continuous. The well-known function $f(x) = x^2 \sin (1/x)$ is continuous and differentiable everywhere, but its derivative has no limit at $x = 0$. I'm wondering if the derivative of a continuous function can have a discontinuity where its limit does exist.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If $\lim_{x\to c}f'(x)=L$, then $f'(c)$ exists and it is equal to $L$. Indeed, using the Mean Value Theorem we have $$ \frac{f(c+h)-f(c)}h=f'(\xi(h)) $$ for $\xi(h)$ between $c$ and $c+h$. As $h\to0$, $c+h\to c$ and so $\xi(h)\to c$. So $$ \lim_{h\to 0}\frac{f(c+h)-f(c)}h=\lim_{h\to0}f'(\xi(h))=L. $$

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.