Complementary or Supplementary?Date: 04/02/2001 at 16:25:51 From: Brianne Lorom Subject: Supplementary/Complementary I don't get what complementary and supplementary mean. I keep getting them mixed up. How can I remember which is which? Date: 04/02/2001 at 16:42:54 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Supplementary/Complementary Hi, Brianne. In our archives we have an explanation of the origin of the terms complementary and supplementary, which shows that there's really no reason why they should have the specific meanings they do: Complementary and Supplementary Angles http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/saunders9.30.98.html That means there's no good clue in the words themselves. The best way I've come up with to remember the difference is that the words are in alphabetical order. Complements add up to 90 degrees, and supplements (later in the alphabet) add up to 180 degrees (which is larger). You might also associate "s" with "straight" and "c" with "corner." Whatever trick you remember easily is okay! - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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