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Plural and Derivation of 'Hypotenuse'


Date: 5/16/96 at 12:36:4
From: David Thompson
Subject: Hypotenuse

What's the plural of hypotenuse?


Date: 5/16/96 at 17:13:58
From: Doctor Jodi
Subject: Re: Hypotenuse

I checked a copy of Webster's Dictionary, which lists plurals if 
they're irregular.  Since an irregular plural wasn't listed for 
hypotenuse, in English, the plural would be hypotenuses.

The word hypotenuse comes from Greek, which is a declined language.  
Nouns in Greek have different "cases" to reflect their role in the 
sentence in addition to telling whether they refer to one thing or 
many.

So the ancient Greek for hypotenuse would be a family of words (like 
our verbs), not just one word.

Thanks for your question!

-Doctor Jodi,  The Math Forum
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