Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Deb, a student:

Find the length of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle with one leg 7 cm longer than the other and the hypotenuse 2 cm longer than the longer leg. I've ended up with the hypotenuse = x+9, another side = x and the other side = x+7. what do i do next?

Hi Deb,

You are good so far. Now you need to apply Pythagoras theorem which says that in a right angled triangle the square of the length of the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides. Apply this to the lengths you have and you will then have a quadratic equation in x which you can solve.

Good luck with this,

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