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1. A rectangle is times as long as it is wide. The perimeter is 100 cm2 .

Find
the dimensions of the rectangle.

Sol.

The formula for the perimeter of a rectangle is given by P = 2 l + 2 w . We are told


the perimeter is 100, so the equation now becomes 100 = 2 l + 2 w . We are also
told that the length is times the width, so l = 1.5 w . We can substitute this l into
the equation: 100 = 2l +2 w = 2(1.5 w ) + 2 w . We have reduced an equation with
three unknowns to one with a single unknown.

The width is 20 cm and the length is 1.5w = 1.5(20) = 30 cm.

2. A rectangle is twice as long as it is wide. If the length is decreased by 4


inches and its width is decreased by 3 inches, the area is decreased by 88
square inches. Find the original dimensions.

Sol.

The area formula for a rectangle is A = lw . Let A represent the original area; l , the
original length; and w , the original width. We know that the original length is twice
the original width, so l = 2 wand A = lw becomes A = 2 ww = 2 w2 . The new length
is l – 4 = 2 w – 4 and the new width is w – 3, so the new area is (2 w – 4)( w – 3).
But the new area is also 88 square inches less than the old area, so A – 88
represents the new area, also. We then have for the new area, A – 88 = (2 w –
4)(w – 3). But the A can be replaced with 2 w2 . We now have the equation 2 w2 – 88
=(2 w – 4)( w– 3), an equation with one unknown.

The width of the original rectangle is 10 inches and its length is 2 w = 2(10) = 20
inches.
3. A square’s length is increased by 3 cm, which causes its area to increase by
33 cm2 . What is the length of the original square?

A square’s length and width are the same, so the area formula for the square
is A = ll = l 2 . Let l represent the original length. The new length is l + 3. The
original area is A = l2 and its new area is ( l + 3)2 . The new area is also the original
area plus 33, so ( l + 3)2 = new area = A + 33 = l2 + 33. We now have the
equation, with one unknown: ( l + 3)2 = l2 + 33.

4. The original length is 4 cm.

The radius of a circle is increased by 3 cm. As a result, the area is increased by 45π
cm2 . What was the original radius?

Remember that the area of a circle is A = πr2 , where r represents the radius. So,
let r represent the original radius. The new radius is then represented by r + 3. The
new area is represented by π(r + 3)2 . But the new area is also the original area
plus 45πcm2 . This gives us A + 45π = π( r + 3)2. Because A = πr2 , A + 45π
becomes πr2 + 45π. Our equation, then, is πr2 + 45π = π( r + 3) 2 .

The original radius was 6 cm.


5. A square has a diameter of 50 cm. What is the length of each side?

Let x represent the length of each side.

The diagonal formula for a rectangle is D 2 = L 2 + W 2 . In this example, D =


50, L = x , andW = x. D 2 = L 2 + W 2 becomes x 2 + x 2 = 50 2 .

6. The area of a triangle is 40 in 2 . Its height is four-fifths the length of its


base. What are its base and height?
The area is 40 and so the formula becomes .

The triangle’s base is 10 inches long and its height is inches.


7. A rectangle is one inch longer than it is wide. Its diameter is five inches.
What are its dimensions?

L=W+1

The diagonal formula for a rectangle is D 2 = L 2 + W 2 . In this example, D = 5


and L = W + 1. D 2 = L 2 + W 2 becomes 5 2 = ( W + 1) 2 + W 2 .

The width is 3 inches and the length is 3 + 1 = 4 inches.

8. The hypotenuse of a right triangle is 34 feet. The sum of the lengths of the
two legs is 46 feet. Find the lengths of the legs.

The sum of the lengths of the legs is 46 feet, so if a and b are the lengths of the
legs, a + b= 46, so a = 46 – b . The hypotenuse is 34 feet so if c is the length of the
hypotenuse, then the formula a 2 + b 2 = c 2 becomes (46 – b ) 2 + b 2 = 34 2.

One leg is 30 feet long and the other is 46 – 30 = 16 feet long.


9. A can’s height is four inches and its volume is 28 cubic inches. What is the
can’s radius?

The volume formula for a right circular cylinder is V = πr2h . The can’s volume is 28
cubic inches and its height is 4 inches, so V = πr2h becomes 28 = πr2 (4).

The can’s radius is about 1.493 inches.

Word Problems: Geometry Problems

Solve each problem using a system of equations. Show all of your work, including labels for your

variables.

1. Suppose you want to use 600 meters of fencing to surround two identical adjacent rectangular

plots. Write a function for the combined area of the plots with respect to the length of one of the

sides (x). What dimensions would produce the maximum combined area? What is that maximum

combined area?

2. The area of a rectangle is 21 sq. ft. What are its dimensions if the length is 5 feet less than four

times the width?

3. A farmer with 1000 meters of fencing wants to enclose a rectangular plot that borders along a

straight river. If the farmer does not want to fence along the river, what is the largest area that can

be enclosed? What dimensions produce that area?

4. The width of a rectangle is 2 less than half the length, and the area is 30. What is the perimeter of

the rectangle?

5. A rectangular pen is constructed using one side of the house as a side of the pen. You have 100

feet of fencing for the other three sides. What dimensions would produce the maximum area?

What is the maximum area?

6. A farmer wishes to enclose a rectangular field which will be partitioned into six smaller fields. If

the farmer has only 10,000 meters of fencing available, what is the maximum combined area that

can be enclosed? Write a function for the combined area of the plots with respect to the length of

one of the sides (x). What dimensions produce the maximum combined area?
7. Suppose a stream borders our land, and we want to make a right-triangular garden with the stream

as the hypotenuse. If we have only 80 feet of fencing, what is the maximum area of our garden?

8. You decide to build a dog run in a back corner your yard. If you only have 60 feet of fencing,

what is the maximum area that you can enclose? What dimensions produce the maximum area?