The formula for the area of a triangle is A = (1/2)bh where b is the base and h is the height.

If you already know the formula for the area of a triangle, it is easy to recognize that it is half the area of a parallelogram with the same base and height, which suggests another derivation of the formula.

Note that this justification holds for any shape triangle, with any side treated as the base.

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Rectangle : Parallelogram : Triangle
1. : Triangle
2. : Trapezoid 1.
: Trapezoid 2.
: Circle
1. : Circle
2.

Animations by
Bettina Richmond and Tom Richmond.

Tom.Richmond@wku.edu

Updated May 22, 2008.