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Complementary and supplementary angles

Before we define what we mean by complementary and supplementary angles, here is an


important reminder about adjacent angles
Adjacent angles: Angles that share a vertex and a common side

Complementary angles:
Two angles whose measures add to 90 degrees. It is easy to see when the angles are adjacent like
the following:

Angles x and y are adjacent because they share a ray (line in black) and a vertex (point in black
called D).
Now why are they complementary?
Notice also that the angle in blue measures 90 degrees
Since the measure of angle x plus the measure of angle y = 90 degrees, x and y are
complementary
Angles do not have to be adjacent to be complementary. The following angles are also
complementary as long as the sum of the measures equal 90 degrees

Complementary Angles

Two angles are Complementary when they


add up to 90 degrees (a Right Angle

).

These two angles (40 and 50) are


Complementary Angles, because they add up to 90.
Notice that together they make a right angle

But the angles don't have to be together.


These two are complementary because 27 + 63 = 90

Right Angled Triangle


In a right angled triangle, the two non-right angles are
complementary, because in a triangle the three angles
add to 180, and 90 has already been taken by the
right angle.

Supplementary angles:
Two angles whose measures add to 180 degrees. It is easy too to see this when the angles are
adjacent like the following:

Again, angles a and b adjacent because they share a ray (line in black) and a vertex (point in
black called D), so they are adjacent angles.

Now why are they supplementary?


Notice also that the angle in blue measures 180 degrees because the angle is a striaght line and a
straight line measures 180 degrees
Since the measure of angle a plus the measure of angle b = 180 degrees, a and b are
supplementary
Again, angles do not have to be adjacent to be supplementary. The following angles are also
supplementary as long as the sum of the measures equal 180 degrees

Here we go! Study the types of angles carefully. This is where any serious study of geometry
begin.

Supplementary Angles
Two Angles are Supplementary if they add up to 180 degrees.

These two angles (140 and 40)


are Supplementary Angles, because
they add up to 180.
Notice that together they make a
straight angle.

But the angles don't have to be


together.
These two are supplementary
because 60 + 120 = 180

Triangles Contain 180


In a triangle, the three interior angles always add to 180:
A + B + C = 180

Try it yourself (drag the points):

We can use that fact to find a missing angle in a triangle:

Example: Find the Missing Angle "C"

Start With: A + B + C = 180


Fill in what we know: 38 + 85 + C = 180
Rearrange C = 180 - 38 - 85
Calculate: C = 57

Proof
This is a proof that the angles in a triangle equal 180:

The top line (that touches the top of the triangle) is


running parallel to the base of the triangle.

So:

angles A are the same


angles B are the same

And you can easily see that A + C + B does a complete rotation from one side of the straight
line to the other, or 180