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Tangent Ratio Problems


In these lessons, we will learn how to find angles and sides using the tangent ratio and how to solve word problems using the tangent ratio.

Related Topics: More Trigonometry Problems

Hints on solving trigonometry problems:

  • If no diagram is given, draw one yourself.
  • Mark the right angles in the diagram.
  • Show the sizes of the other angles and the lengths of any lines that are known
  • Mark the angles or sides you have to calculate.
  • Consider whether you need to create right triangles by drawing extra lines. For example, divide an isosceles triangle into two congruent right triangles.
  • Decide whether you will need Pythagorean theorem, sine, cosine or tangent.
  • Check that your answer is reasonable. The hypotenuse is the longest side in a right triangle.

How to use the tangent ratio to find missing sides or angles?


tangent ratio

Calculate the length of the side x, given that tan θ = 0.4


Solving Problems with the Tangent Ratio
Finding the opposite side.
Finding the adjacent side.
The following video gives more examples of tangent problems.
Find the sides and angle.

How to find the opposite side or adjacent side using the tangent ratio?
This video shows you how to use the Tangent Ratio to find the unknown side of a right angle triangle.
This lesson shows what the target ratio is and how to use it to find angles and sides in right triangles.

Use Tangent Ratio to solve Word Problems

How to calculate the height of a flag pole using tangent?
The measure of corresponding angles of similar triangle are always equal, so are the ratios of the corresponding sides.
How to calculate the height of a tree using tangent?

Example: A toy ladder is set against a 68mm tall stack of coins. If the base of the ladder is 22mm away from the base of the coins, what angle of elevation does the ladder form?
Trigonometric Word Problems
1. From a point on the ground 96 m from a tree, the angle to the top of the tree is 38 degrees. What is the height of the tree?

2. The angle form the ground to the top of the Statue of Liberty is 7 degrees at a distance of 1220 ft from the building. Find the height of the statue.

3. A ladder is leaning up against a house. The bottom of the ladder is 3 ft away from the building and the ladder makes an angle of 75 degrees with the ground.
a) How high up the building does the ladder reach?
b) How long is the ladder?

4. A surveyor measured BC to be 125 ft. Find the distance AB across the lake.

5. After takeoff, an airplane maintained a flight angle of 8 degrees with the ground. Find the elevation after it covered after it covered a ground distance of 1200 m.

6. For the airplane in problem 5, find the distance it traveled in the air along the flight path while covering the ground distance of 1200 m.

7. A submarine maintains a diving angle of 22. How far has it travelled when it is directly under a point 350 m along the surface from the point where it submerged?

8. A surveyor wants to find the distance between peaks A and B. He finds point C, 288 ft from peak A, so that ACB is a right angle. The measure BAC is 89. Find the distance AB.

9. Sears Tower is 1454 ft tall. Suppose point A is 1000 ft from the base of the tower. What is the tangent of the angle at A formed by the ground and the line of vision to the top of the tower?

10. Diving at a constant angle A, a submarine descends 102 m while travelling 300 m. Find the degree measure of A.

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget which allows your to practice solving Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus and other math topics.

You can use the Mathway widget below to practice Trigonometry or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem. Then click "Answer" to check your answer.

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