How to Find the Slope of Sides on a Shape

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Finding the slope of sides on a shape will require you to look at the coordinates on your graph. Find the slope of sides on a shape with help from an experienced mathematics professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Trigonometry, Graphs, & Other Math Tips
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Walter Unglaub, and this is how to find the slope of sides on a shape. So, if given a shape, in this case a triangle for example, we would have to know either the angles inside of this triangle, or ideally the coordinates for each of the points that make up the triangle. So for example, if I wanted to find the slope of this side of the triangle, and I were given the coordinates of points A and B, this case would be one-one, and B for example could be four-seven. Then I could simply find the slope by using the slope formula. So, this triangle and x, this would be one, and this point here would be four, and the height would be one where A-C is, and for point B I would have seven. So if I wanted to calculate this slope, call it MA sub AB, then I simply calculate the difference in the y values divided by the difference in the x values. So I have MAB is equal to delta-y divided delta-x, which here is seven minus one divided four minus one, which is equal to six over three or simply two. So I've calculated this slope to be two. I could do the same for these sides as well. Here I can tell that this slops is going to be equal to zero, because the y components of the coordinates for point A and C are identical, so the delta-y would be equal to zero. And, if the x coordinate for point C was equal to six say, then I could calculate MBC, which is this slope, by considering delta-y over delta-x, and in this case, delta-y would be seven minus one, and I would divide that by delta-x, which is four minus six. Since I chose the ordering to be coordinate B and then coordinate C, so I get six divided negative two, which is equal to negative three, which is a downward slope. So this is the general method in which one would determine the slopes of sides on a shape. Although if you were given information about the angles instead of the coordinates or the lengths, then you could find alternative ways. My name is Walter Unglaub, and this is how to find the slope of sides on a shape.


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