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7/16/2018 Triangles - Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene

Triangles  
A triangle has three sides and three angles

The three angles always add to 180°

Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene


There are three special names given to triangles that tell how many sides (or angles) are equal.

There can be 3, 2 or no equal sides/angles:

Equilateral Triangle
60°
Three equal sides
60° 60°
Three equal angles, always 60°

Isosceles Triangle
= =
Two equal sides
Two equal angles

Scalene Triangle

No equal sides
No equal angles

What Type of Angle?


Triangles can also have names that tell you what type of angle is inside:

Acute Triangle
<90°
All angles are less than 90°

Right Triangle
90°
Has a right angle (90°)

Obtuse Triangle
>90°
Has an angle more than 90°

Combining the Names


Sometimes a triangle will have two names, for example:
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7/16/2018 Triangles - Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene
Right Isosceles Triangle
=
Has a right angle (90°), and also two equal angles
=
Can you guess what the equal angles are?

Play With It ...


Try dragging the points around and make different triangles:

Equilateral Triangle
The triangle has three equal sides and three equal
angles of 60° each.

Reset
© 2015 MathsIsFun.com v0.89

You might also like to play with the Interactive Triangle .

Perimeter
The perimeter is the distance around the edge of the triangle: just add up the three sides:

Perimeter = 203 + 145 + 208 = 556

Reset
© 2015 MathsIsFun.com v0.89

Area
The area is half of the base times height.

"b" is the distance along the base


h
"h" is the height (measured at right angles to the base)

Area = ½ × b × h b

The formula works for all triangles.

Note: a simpler way of writing the formula is bh/2

Example: What is the area of this triangle?

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7/16/2018 Triangles - Equilateral, Isosceles and Scalene

12

20

(Note: 12 is the height, not the length of the left-hand side)

Height = h = 12

Base = b = 20

Area = ½ × b × h = ½ × 20 × 12 = 120

The base can be any side, Just be sure the "height" is measured at right angles to the "base":

Area = ½ × 203 × 137 = 13905.5

Reset
© 2015 MathsIsFun.com v0.89

(Note: You can also calculate the area from the lengths of all three sides using Heron's Formula .)

Why is the Area "Half of bh"?

Imagine you "doubled" the triangle (flip it around one of the upper edges) to make a
square-like shape (a parallelogram ) which can be changed to a simple rectangle :

x2
h h

b b

THEN the whole area is bh, which is for both triangles, so just one is ½ × bh.

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