Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from kevin, a student:

scalene triangle 8 ft base right side 9.5 left side 12 ft what is the angles

Hi Kevin,

The subject line of your email said "classifying triangles for grade 6" so I think what you are to do is decide if the triangle is acute, obtuse or a right triangle.

You have two short sides and a long side so the question is, do the three sides fit together to form

a right triangle with the long side the hypotenuse, right triangle

or is the long side too short to form a right triangle and the triangle is acute acute triangle

or is the long side too long and the triangle is hence obtuse? obtuse triangle

You can use Pythagoras' theorem to decide. If a right triangle has legs of length 8 ft and 9.5 ft what does Pythagoras' theorem tell you is the length of the hypotenuse? Is it 12 ft? Is it less than 12 ft? Is it greater than 12 ft?


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