There are six main types of functions in trigonometry. Learn about the six types of trig functions with help from a mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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There are six main types of functions in trigonometry. Learn about the six types of trig functions with help from a mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Mathematics Lessons

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Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang and we're here to talk about six types of trig functions. Now trigonometry as you know is a very important concept. It's a pretty broad subject that's going to help you succeed not just in algebra courses but especially in the calculus related courses because they use trigonometry a lot and it actually all starts in trigonometry with these six functions. So we're just going to talk a little bit about each of them and go from there. Now it all resolves around a particular angle which we'll call theta and the first three is the most fundamental but the other three picks up where the first three leaves off and you'll see what I mean in a little bit. The first one we're going to talk about the sign function. Now, sign is a particular ratio and you work with it either in circles or triangles or both and the abbreviation for sign is sin theta. So the sign of an angle is sin theta, sin. Now next up is cosine. Cosine of an angle is abbreviated as cos for short. So it will be cos theta. Next up you have tangent, now, the tangent of an angle can be abbreviated as tan theta for short. Now that's three out of the six, they are very very important. Whatever trig course that you are taking I highly recommend that you remember these as much as possible. But there's the other three, cotangent. The cotangent of an angle is cot for short, cot theta but here's the kicker. The definition of cotangent is actually 1 over tangent of theta. That's right folks, cotangent is the reciprocal of tangent. Now, two more to go and you'll see that the cotangent is setting a little bit of a trend. The secant of an angle theta is abbreviated as sec for short, sec theta but the definition of that is one over cosine theta. What that means here is the definition of secant is that reciprocal of cosine so it's one over cosine theta. And last but not least we have cosecant of an angle abbreviated csc theta for short. But the definition of cosecant is the reciprocal of sin so it's one over sign theta. Cotangent, secant and cosecant are known as the cofunctions of, rather the reciprocal functions of sin, cosin and tangent. So, I'm Jimmy Chang and that's a brief summary of the six trigonometric functions.