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# What is the difference between algebra and trigonometry?

Updated: 12/15/2022

Wiki User

8y ago

Algebra and Trigonometry Differences Algebra uses numbers and letters to help solve problems where there is an unknown. So you'll use a variable or a letter "x" to replace the part of the problem that you want to solve. For example, I want to go to another town for an interview and have only so much gas in my car. I know how much gas costs and I want to get to the other town and back for my interview. So how much gas do I need to put in my car to get there and back? Algebra lets me use what I know, the tank holds so many gallons, it costs so many dollars, then I'll need to put in so much gas to get there and back. I will use letters like "x" or "y" to represent the part of the equation I have to figure out. Then solve the equation and plug in the answers to make the equation "equal" or to "work out." In the teaching of Algebra there are usually introductions and reviews relating to geometry, linear equations, graphs, percentages, decimals, fractions and the order of operations. You'll need these later in Trigonometry as well. Trigonometry is a higher form of Algebra. In Trigonometry you will use more complicated letters and numbers to represent more complicated formulas. You can and do use Trigonometry everyday without even knowing it. For example, you could figure out the properties of a tsunami by using a Trigonometric formula. You could also figure out the age of a tree by looking at the rings. The ever growing circle of growth can be expressed in a Trigonometric formula! In Trigonometry you'll use exponents, graphs (many, many graphs), functions, and everything you learned in basic Algebra. The formulas in Trigonometry aren't difficult if you remember that you can "cancel" or break down like terms on both sides of the equal sign. Remember, equal means equal. When figuring out a problem, once you find like terms and cancel them out on both sides of the equal sign, the problem will go down to the common forms and Voila! Your Trigonometry problem will resemble a simple Algebra problem where you can use logic to answer the question.

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You didn't need an essay to explain the "difference". There isn't one anyway because Algebra is simply the set of symbols and rules in which all other mathematical concepts and problems, including trigonometry, are expressed and solved.

Looking at all these strange "difference between" questions, it seems to me people are treating algebra as an isolated academic topic. It is not. It is fundamental to mathematics so cannot be separated and packed into its own box.

Wiki User

8y ago

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