Construction Of Similar Triangles

Construction of Similar Triangles is one of the important concepts of class 10 maths. This concept has some weightage for the students in their exams. In this article, you are going to learn how to construct a triangle similar to the given triangle. Before we learn the construction of similar triangle, let us know what similar triangles are?

Similar Triangles

If two triangles ∆ABC and ∆PQR are said to be similar triangles, then the following two conditions must be satisfied:

(i) The corresponding angles of the two triangles are equal.

i.e. ∠A = ∠P, ∠B = ∠Q, ∠C = ∠R

(ii) Corresponding sides are in a ratio or proportion.

\( \frac {AB}{PQ} \) = \( \frac {BC}{QR} \) = \( \frac {AC}{PR} \)

Thus, the similarity of ∆ABC and ∆PQR can be written as ∆ABC ~ ∆PQR and it is read as “∆ABC is similar to ∆PQR”.

Example:

Consider the two triangles namely ∆ABC and ∆PQR given in the figure such that ∆ABC~∆PQR. What is the length of the side PR if AB = 6 cm, AC = 8 cm and PQ = 3 cm?

Construction Of Triangles

 

Since, ∆ABC~∆PQR

\( \frac {AB}{PQ} \) = \( \frac {AC}{PR} \)

\( \frac {6}{3} \) = \( \frac {8}{PR} \)

PR = \( \frac {8~×~3}{6} \) = 4 cm

Let’s see how to construct similar triangles.

Construction of Similar Triangles

The construction of a similar triangle involves two different cases. In one, the triangle to be constructed is bigger (or larger), and in the other, it is smaller than the given triangle. Also, the scale factor determines the ratio of the sides of the triangle to be constructed with the corresponding sides of the given triangle. These two cases are explained below along with the required steps.

Case (i)

Construct a triangle similar to the given triangle ABC with scale factor 5/3.

Here, scale factor 5/3 means, the new triangle will have side lengths 5/3 times the corresponding side lengths.

Steps of construction:

Step 1: Construct a triangle ABC as given below:

Step 2: Draw a ray BX making an acute acute with the base BC and mark 5 points B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 on BX such that BB1 = B1B2 = B2B3 = B3B4 = B4B5.

Step 3: Join B3C and draw a line B5C’ such that B3C is parallel to B5C’, where C’ lie on the produced BC.

Step 4: Now draw another line parallel to AC at C’ such that it meets the produced BA at A’.

Hence, ΔA’BC’ is the required triangle similar to the ΔABC.

Case (ii)

Construct a triangle which is similar to ∆ABC with scale factor 3/5.

Here, scale factor 3/5 means, the new triangle will have side lengths 3/5 times the corresponding side lengths.

Consider the given triangle ABC:

Construction Of Triangles

Steps of Construction:

  • Draw a ray BX which makes an acute angle with BC on the opposite side of vertex A.
  • Locate 5 points on the ray BX and mark them as B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 on BX such that BB1 = B1B2 = B2B3 = B3B4 = B4B5.
  • Join B5C
  • Draw a line parallel to B5C through B3 (since 3 is the smallest among 3 and 5) and mark C’ where it intersects with BC.
  • Draw a line through the point C’ parallel to AC and mark A’ where it intersects AB.
  • A’BC’ is the required triangle.Construction Of Triangle

How can we verify that ∆ABC ~ ∆A’BC’?

\( \frac {BC’}{C’C}\) = \( \frac 32 \) [By construction]

Therefore,

\( \frac {BC}{BC’}\) = \( \frac {BC’~+~C’C}{BC’}\) = \( 1~+~\frac 23 \) = \( \frac 53 \)

That gives,

\( \frac {BC’}{BC}\) = \( \frac 35 \)

Here, A’C’ is parallel to AC.

∠ A’C’B = ∠ACB [corresponding angles]

∠ABC = ∠A’BC’ [common angle]

Therefore,

∆ABC ~ ∆A’BC’

Let us understand this construction with the help of an example.

Example: Consider ∆ABC where BC = 6 cm, ∠B = 40°and ∠C = 60°. Draw a triangle similar to ∆ABC with a scale factor 2.

Solution:

Construction Of Triangle

Here, a scale factor of 2 means that sides of the new triangle which is similar to ∆ABC are twice the sides of ∆ABC.

Let ∆PQR be the new triangle.

QR = 2 × 6 = 12 cm [scale factor is 2]

∠B = ∠Q = 40°and ∠C = ∠R = 60°.

  • Draw QR of length 12 cm
  • Draw a line through Q which makes an angle of 40° from QR.
  • Draw a line through R which makes an angle of 60° from QR.
  • Mark the intersection point of two lines above QR as P. Thus, ∆PQR is the required triangle as given below.Construction Of Triangle

Now, suppose the scale factor is a fraction, like \( \frac 54 \), \( \frac 78 \) etc and we don’t know the length of the sides, then we won’t be able to construct similar triangles precisely.

Note:

From the above constructions, it is clear that, if the scale factor is equal to less than 1, then the triangle to be constructed similar to the given triangle will be the smaller than the original triangle otherwise it will be larger than the given triangle.

To learn more about triangles, download BYJU’S- The Learning App from Google Play Store.

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