# Common Core: High School - Geometry : Use congruence and similarity criteria for triangles to solve problems and to prove relationships in geometric figures

## Example Questions

### Example Question #1 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Choose the answer that describes a congruent triangle

Triangles with corresponding sides of the same lengths but differing corresponding angles

Triangles with corresponding angles of the same measure but differing corresponding sides

Triangles with corresponding sides of the same lengths and corresponding angles of the same measures

Triangles with 2 of the 3 corresponding sides of the same lengths but differing corresponding angles

Triangles with corresponding sides of the same lengths and corresponding angles of the same measures

Explanation:

To be congruent, triangles must have all corresponding angles and sides be of the same measure.  Corresponding sides of triangles are sides of the same measure in the same positions on different triangles.  This is shown in red on the two triangles below.  Corresponding angles of triangles are angles of the same measure in the same position on different triangles.  This is shown in blue on the two triangles below.

### Example Question #2 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Choose the answer that describes similar triangles

Triangles with 2 of the 3 corresponding sides of the same lengths but differing corresponding angles

Triangles with corresponding sides of the same lengths and corresponding angles of the same measures

Triangles with corresponding angles of the same measure but differing corresponding sides

Triangles with corresponding sides of the same lengths but differing corresponding angles

Triangles with corresponding angles of the same measure but differing corresponding sides

Explanation:

Shapes, in general, are similar when they are the same shape but have different sizes.  If they were the exact same size, they would be congruent.  To have the same shape, even when the sizes differ, the shape needs to have the same angles.  Take the two triangles below for example, they have equal angles but are different sizes.  Therefore these triangles are similar.

### Example Question #1 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

True or False: When considering right triangles, if two right triangles have a congruent hypotenuse and a congruent leg then these triangles are congruent.

False

True

True

Explanation:

If two right triangles have a congruent leg and hypotenuse we can say they have two congruent sides.  Since both of these triangles are right triangles, we also know that they have a congruent angle (their 90-degree angle).  So these two triangles have two pairs of corresponding congruent sides and one pair of corresponding congruent angles.  By SAS Theorem, these right triangles are congruent.  When using this fact that two right triangles are congruent when they have a congruent hypotenuse and a congruent leg, this is called the HL Theorem.

### Example Question #4 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

True or False: Triangles that have all three corresponding sides equal in length can still have differing corresponding angles, therefore triangles with all three corresponding sides equal in length are not guaranteed to be either similar or congruent.

True

False

False

Explanation:

The Side-Side-Side (SSS) Theorem states that two triangles are congruent if the three corresponding sides of each triangle are congruent.  If you think about it, in order for all three corresponding sides to be equal they must fit together at the same angles as well making these triangles congruent.  A detailed proof based on Philoh’s approach is below for a better explanation.  Note that there are stronger proofs than this for this theorem, but this proof is best visually for this level of understanding of the theorem.

Proof:

(We want to show that if all three sides of two triangles are equal, then these two triangles are congruent)

Consider two triangles  and .  Assume the following:

Since  we are able to rotate triangle  to coincide  and .  We will just call this common line segment  for simplification.

Now we will draw a line from vertex  to vertex .  This gives us two isosceles triangles.  Recall from the definition of an isosceles triangle that the two adjacent sides and angles are equivalent.  So  and .

We can then deduce that . We now know that at least two sides of the two given triangles are equal and the angle enclosed by these sides is congruent between the two triangles. By SAS Theorem, these two triangles are congruent.

### Example Question #5 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Consider the two triangles below (ABE and CBE).  Given that sides  and  are equal and  bisects , prove triangles ABE and CBD are congruent.  and  are equal and  bisects , prove triangles ABE and CBD are congruent.

Proof:

Proof:

Proof:

Proof:

Explanation:

Explanation: For the explanation follow the detailed proof below:

### Example Question #6 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Triangle  is similar to triangle .  Solve for  and .

Explanation:

In order to solve for  and  below, we need to use the fact that similar triangles are proportional.  This allows us to set up ratios of the lengths of the sides to solve for the unknown variables:

To solve for :

So we can set up the following ratios

by cross-multiplying to get rid of the fractions

So

To solve for :

So we can set up the following ratios

by cross-multiplying to get rid of the fractions

So

### Example Question #7 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Consider the group of line segments below.  is parallel to .  What is the relationship between triangles  and ?

Similar

No relationship

Congruent

Similar

Explanation:

Since  is parallel to , the point where  intersects  forms two pairs of opposite vertical angles.  We can now say that  and  are equal by the definition of opposite vertical angles.  Notice that  and  are alternate interior angles.  By definition, .

We have two equal corresponding angles.  The Angle-Angle (AA) Theorem for similar triangles says that if two triangles have two pairs of congruent corresponding angles, the triangles are similar.  So by AA Theorem, triangles  and  are similar.

### Example Question #8 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

and  are parallel.  Are triangles  and triangle  are similar?  If so, solve for .

There is not enough information to determine if these triangles are similar

No, these triangles are not similar

Explanation:

Since  is parallel to , the point where  intersects  forms two pairs of opposite vertical angles.  We can now say that  and  are equal by the definition of opposite vertical angles.  Notice that  and  are alternate interior angles.  By definition, .  We have two equal corresponding angles.  The Angle-Angle (AA) Theorem for similar triangles says that if two triangles have two pairs of congruent corresponding angles, the triangles are similar.  So by AA Theorem, triangles  and  are similar. In order to solve for , we need to use the fact that similar triangles are proportional.  This allows us to set up ratios of the lengths of the sides to solve for :

We are able to set up the following ratios:

cross multiplying to get rid of the fractions

So the length of

### Example Question #2 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

Consider the parallelogram below. From what you know about parallelograms and our theorems for congruence in triangles, prove that triangles  and  are congruent.

Proof:

Proof:

Proof:

Proof:

Explanation:

### Example Question #1 : Use Congruence And Similarity Criteria For Triangles To Solve Problems And To Prove Relationships In Geometric Figures

True or False: The triangles below are similar, NOT congruent.

True

False