As you can see, this type of problem requires a diagram of a carefully labeled right triangle. The measurements of the sides and one angle
should be labeled based on the information given. One measurement in the triangle
is missing. It is the goal of the problem to find this measurement.
First you should assign a variable
to represent the missing measurement. We usually use a lower case English letter to represent the measure of a side
of the triangle
and either a Greek letter such as or an upper case English letter to represent a missing angle
A trigonometric ratio
often helps us set up an equation
which can then be solved for the missing measurement. If the two legs of the triangle
are a part of the problem, it is a tangent ratio. If the hypotenuse
is part of the problem, it is either a sine or cosine ratio.