Whats the difference between the three main trigonometric functions?

Sin(x), Cos(x) and Tan(x) are very useful functions and can be used to solve algerbraic problems where the aim is to find the size of an angle or a size.

Sin(x) = Opposite/Hypotenuse

Cos(x) = Adjacent/Hypotenuse

Tan(x) = Opposite/Adjacent

these are the equations you must rearrange to solve the problems. for example if you're looking to find the length of hypotenuse side and have the angle, x and the length of the adjacent of side you rearrange the equation to be:

hypotenuse =adjacent/cos(x)

This can be confusing at first but can become second nature very quickly if you work through lots of problems.

A great way of remembering the equations is:

Michael G. GCSE Biology tutor, GCSE Chemistry tutor, GCSE Maths tutor...

1 year ago

Answered by Michael, a GCSE Maths tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£18 /hr

Michael W.

Degree: Biomedical sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Biology


“I am currently studying Biology at Durham University, following a passion for sciences i've had since a young age. Not everyone will instantly have the same love for these subjects as I did. But I hope through my teaching I can convey ...”

£20 /hr

Lloyd S.

Degree: Mathematics G100 (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

“About Me:I am 19 and from Devon, currently in my first year studying Maths at the University of Bristol. I have a real passion for Maths and I really hope I can help you to understand, and maybe even enjoy doing maths - I know not ev...”

£18 /hr

Jan K.

Degree: Mathematics and Music (Bachelors) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered: Maths, Physics


“About Myself I am a Mathematics student at Edinburgh University. I have a real passion for Mathematics, and I thouroughly enjoy explaining mathematical concepts to others. Having been home-educated all through school (which also gave ...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Michael G.

Currently unavailable: until 14/08/2016

Degree: Product Design Engineering MSc (Masters) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered: Maths, Science+ 4 more

Design & Technology

“About me: I am currently studying for my Masters degree in Product Design Engineering at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art having graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of ...”

You may also like...

Posts by Michael

Whats the difference between speed and velocity?

Whats the difference between the three main trigonometric functions?

Other GCSE Maths questions

How do you solve this problem?

Differentiate f(x) = 3x^2+5x+3

How do I solve a quadratic equation?

When I multiple two negative numbers together is my answer positive or negative?

View GCSE Maths tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss