Home > Geometric reasoning > Misunderstandings > The language of geometry > Translating geometric descriptions

Translating geometric descriptions

Many students have difficulty decoding the language when asked to draw a suitable diagram, if the geometric relationships are not understood well.

One example is the word 'produce'. When asked to produce a line, students often fail to understand that the order of the line segment name is important as it determines the direction in which the line is extended.

In this example, the instruction: "Produce PQ to X" (Figure 1) results in a different situation to "Produce QP to X" (Figure 2).


Figure 1.


Figure 2.

You can download the Translating Geometric Descriptions: Student Worksheet and the Translating Geometric Descriptions: Solutions. This activity probes for understanding of specific terms in geometry.