Mrs. Brenda Overholt
Math Department
Franklin County High School
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
 Choosing the Trig Function

All right triangle trigonometry problems use this formula:
Rule: The trig function is based on the two sides you decide to use.  Replace TrigFunction in the formula with either sin, cos, or tan.
Choice: There are three of them!

 Decide where you'll be standing Look at the sides you have in the problem.  Decide which two you'll be using (Hint)  Then using Oscar or Sohcahtoa, decide which trig function would be best.

 sin 36 cos 36 tan 36

 Decide where you'll be standing Look at the sides you have in the problem.  Decide which two you'll be using (Hint)  Then using Oscar or Sohcahtoa, decide which trig function would be best.

 sin x cos x tan x

 Decide where you'll be st__________. Look at the si___ you have in the problem.  Decide which two you'll be using (Hint)  Then using Oscar or Sohcahtoa, decide which trig f_______ would be best.

 sin 50 cos 50 tan 50

 This problem is a little different.  You might choose to stand at M or N.  BUT either way, the trig function will be the same!  Which one?

 sin x or sin y cos x or cos y tan x or tan y

Next: Setting up a Trig Function equation
[ tutorial | examples | standing choice | function choice | equation ]
brenda.overholt@frco.k12.va.us
August, 2004