How to Calculate Hypotenuse

Unlike what many unhappy young math students may think, basic geometry is in use in important and practical areas of life every day. From major civil engineering projects to a simple calculation for some backyard landscaping, geometry fundamentals are important. One of the most famous and useful applications of geometry is the use of Pythagorean Theorem. Learn how to use it to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle.


    • 1

      Obtain the values of the sides forming the right angle (90 degrees) of the triangle. We will call these values "a" and "b." See Illustration 1.

    • 2

      Substitute the values for "a" and "b" into the equation below:
      a^2 + b^2 = c^2
      where (^2) is "squared."

    • 3

      Calculate the result of the equation.

    • 4

      Take the result of the equation (C^2) and calculate its square root.

    • 5

      The result of the equation is "c," which is equal to the length of the hypotenuse of the right triangle.

Tips & Warnings

  • This calculation can be used to find the length of the diagonal of a rectangle by dividing the rectangle into 2 triangles along the diagonal.
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