Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from peter, a student:

are a 2 by 4 rectangle and a 1 by 8 triangle congruent?


If two polygonal figures are congruent then you can place one exactly on top of the other so that each of the vertices of the top figure is over a vertex of the bottom figure and each of the sides of the top figure is directly over a side of the bottom figure. Since one of your figures has 4 edges and the other has 3 edges you can't arrange them in this fashion and hence they aren't congruent.


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