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How do you find the value of x in a pair of similar polygons?

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raekwon | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 29, 2009 at 6:13 AM via web

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How do you find the value of x in a pair of similar polygons?

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mcetner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 6, 2009 at 9:02 PM (Answer #1)

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If x is a side, set up a proportion. You are usually given four pieces of information all together (maybe 3 numbers and x, maybe 2 numbers and two expressions of x). Corresponding sides go in the same fractions. For example, say triangles ABC and DEF are similar. Then you know sides AB/DE = BC/EF.

If x is an angle, corresponding angles are equal. So, for triangles ABC and DEF, angleABC = angleDEF.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted July 31, 2010 at 10:49 PM (Answer #3)

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To prove similarity, corresponding angles must be the same, and also the ratio of the corresponding sides must be proportional, meaning a/b and c/d must get the same value.

So, if x is an angle, you will get information like 2 known angle values and one unknown angle value, or all three known angle values.  angle a= angle b

If x is an length, you will get three sides of any polygon being proportionate to the corresponding sides of another similar polygon or only two pairs of corresponding sides  a/b=c/d

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atyourservice | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted July 30, 2014 at 9:45 AM (Answer #4)

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You set up a proportion.  The similar sides set equal to each other.

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