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# if cos a = -5/6 , what is tan a?

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if cos a = -5/6 , what is tan a?

Guest Aug 1, 2015

#2
+26412
+10

There are two possibilities:

.

Alan  Aug 1, 2015
Sort:

#2
+26412
+10

There are two possibilities:

.

Alan  Aug 1, 2015
#3
+5

Thanks Alan, it was pi/2 < a < pi so -sqrt(11)/5 should be correct.

So the process is, calculate the third unknown side using pythagoras and then tan a = opposite side / closest side. Correct me if I'm wrong.

English is not my native language, dont know the correct term for the sides in a triangle.

Guest Aug 1, 2015
#4
+26412
0

"So the process is, calculate the third unknown side using pythagoras and then tan a = opposite side / closest side. "

This is correct.

The "closest" side is called the "adjacent" side.

The "opposite" side is just that.

The longest side is called the "hypotenuse".

.

Alan  Aug 1, 2015

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