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GCSE MATHEMATICS Intermediate Tier, topic sheet.

PYTHAGORAS
1.

In the diagram below, angle ABC = 90o, AB = 9 cm, CD = 28 cm and AD = 41 cm.


A

41 cm

9 cm

Calculate the following lengths:

2.

28 cm
a)

BD,

b)

BC,

c)

AC.

25 m

47 m

32 m

The two vertical masts of a sailing ship have heights 47m and 32m. If the distance between
their highest points is 25m, find the distance between the masts on the deck of the ship.

3.

4.3 m

7.2 m
PQRS represents the symmetrical cross-section of the roof of a house, where SQ is
perpendicular (at right-angles) to PR and Q is the mid-point of PR. The width of the house,
PR, is 7.2 m and the length of the rafter, PS, is 4.3 m. Calculate the height SQ.

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4.

= 90o.
The diameter of a circle, AB, is of length 8.7 cm, BC has length 5.4 cm and ACB
Calculate the length of AC.
C

5.4 cm
A

5.

8.7 cm

A ladder which is 7.6 m long is placed against a vertical wall. The foot of the ladder rests on
a horizontal floor and is 2.4 m away from the bottom of the wall. Calculate how far the top
of the ladder is above the floor.

wall

7.6 m

2.4 m
floor

6.

The roof of a garage is 4.3 m long and the length of the wall is 3.7 m as shown in the
diagram. Use Pythagoras theorem to calculate the height marked h.

4.3 m

3.7 m

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SOLUTIONS / ANSWERS. REMEMBER THAT THE PYTHAGORAS THEOREM ONLY


APPLIES TO RIGHT-ANGLED TRIANGLES.
1.

a)

To find BD use triangle ABD which is right-angled.


A

41 cm

9 cm

longest side

B
412 = 92 + BD2
1681 = 81 + BD2
1600 = BD2
40 cm = BD.

Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 81
square root
b)

BC = BD

28 = 40

28 = 12 cm.

c)

To find AC, use triangle ABC which is right-angled.


AC2 = 92 + 122
AC2 = 81 + 144
AC2 = 225
AC = 15 cm.

Using Pythagoras:
which means
i.e.
square root

9 cm

B
2.

We label the required distance d in the diagram.


25 m
d
47 m

32 m

Now pull out the obvious right-angled triangle.


47

25 m

32 = 15 m
d

Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 225
square root
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252 = 152 + d2
625 = 225 + d2
400 = d2
20 m = d.

12 cm

3.

Use triangle PQS which is right-angled.


Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 12.96
square root

4.32 = 3.62 + SQ2


18.49 = 12.96 + SQ2
5.53 = SQ2
2.25 m = SQ {2 decimal places}
P

4.

Q
7.2 2 = 3.6 m

Ignore the circle and concentrate upon the right-angled triangle ABC.
Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 29.16
square root

5.

4.3 m

8.72 = 5.42 + AC2


75.69 = 29.16 + AC2
46.53 = AC2
6.82 cm = AC {2 decimal places}.

We only require the following right-angled triangle. I use h to denote the required height.
Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 5.76
square root

7.62 = 2.42 + h2
57.76 = 5.76 + h2
h
52 = h2
7.21 m = h {2 decimal places}.

7.6 m

2.4 m
6.

We only require the following right-angled triangle.


Using Pythagoras:
which means
subtract 13.69
square root

4.32 = 3.72 + h2
18.49 = 13.69 + h2
4.8 = h2
2.19 m = h {2 decimal places}.

4.3 m

3.7 m

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