   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from kathy, a student: The measure of the largest angle of a triangle is twice the measure of the second largest. The measure of the second largest is 20 degrees more than the measure of the smallest. Find the measure of each angle. Hey Kathy,

We need to remember that some of these words in the word problem have meaning when it comes to math.

For example;

If we let angle a be the measure of the largest angle, angle b the measure of the second largest angle and angle c the measure of the smallest angle, we can make mathematical statements (equations) from the word problem.

Now "The measure of the largest angle is twice the measure of the second largest." can be written as;

( a ) = 2 ( b )

or

a = 2b

I have replaced 'measure of the largest angle' with a
and 'is' with '='
and 'twice' with '2'
and 'the measure of the second largest' with b
Now try to create the other statements from this example and you should be able to solve the problem from there.

Melanie     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.