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It depends on the relationship of the sides to the angle. Assuming that neither side a or side b are the hypotenuse (longest side of the right triangle) and that side A is opposite the angle A and side b is closest (adjacent) to angle A then side a over side b will give the tangent of the angle A. If either side a or side b is the hypotenuse then when multiplied together their relationship to the angle A will give either the Sine or the Cosine of the angle A.

Tangent = Opposite side / Adjacent side.

Sine = Opposite / Hypotenuse.

Cosine = Adjacent / Hypotenuse.

A full explanation with diagram is at the related link below:

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โˆ™ 2011-08-08 22:43:35
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Q: How can you solve for angle A when only side a and side b of a right triangle are given in trigonometric functions?
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