Posted by Claire on .
Find the distance between points (2,1) and (1,5)
When finding the distance between these 2 points would you subtract 1(2) or 21? The same question with the other one as well.

Geometry 
drwls,
In answer to your question, you can do it either way, because the numbers get squared anyway.
sqrt[(51)^2 + (1 (2))^2] = sqrt[16 + 9) = 5 
Geometry 
CP,
Would it matter in any other case though???

Geometry 
drwls,
Yes, it matters if you want the slope of the line between the points. Then you must use either
(y2 = y1)/(x2  x1) or (y1  y2)/(x1  x2). 
Geometry 
CP,
But if you're not trying to find the slope it wouldn't matter right?

Geometry 
drwls,
For the distance between points, it doesn't matter.

Geometry 
CP,
Alrighty! Thanks so much! (: