Posted by **Claire** on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:46pm.

Find the distance between points (-2,1) and (1,5)

When finding the distance between these 2 points would you subtract 1-(-2) or -2-1? The same question with the other one as well.

- Geometry -
**drwls**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:23pm
In answer to your question, you can do it either way, because the numbers get squared anyway.

sqrt[(5-1)^2 + (1 -(-2))^2] = sqrt[16 + 9) = 5

- Geometry -
**CP**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:32pm
Would it matter in any other case though???

- Geometry -
**drwls**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:34pm
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**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:36pm
But if you're not trying to find the slope it wouldn't matter right?

- Geometry -
**drwls**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:37pm
For the distance between points, it doesn't matter.

- Geometry -
**CP**, Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:38pm
Alrighty! Thanks so much! (:

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