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Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 3:20:46 PM

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What is the area of a trapezoid?

Natural?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 3:34:27 PM

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Atatürk wrote:
What is the area of a trapezoid?

Natural?


Grammatically, I'd say, yes. But I would expect the question to be how to find the area of a trapezoid rather than what is the area?


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:15:44 PM

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Many math quizzes contain exactly that question -- what is the area of the trapezoid. If you can provide that answer, you certain know how to calculate the value. Sounds perfectly fine.
Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:20:24 PM

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How does a teacher ask the question of a student?

Jack, how to find the area of a trapezoid? Think

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:21:39 PM

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Wilmar (USA) wrote:
Many math quizzes contain exactly that question -- what is the area of the trapezoid. If you can provide that answer, you certain know how to calculate the value. Sounds perfectly fine.


I don't mean a specific trapezoid, but the general formula. Now how would you put it, please?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:36:24 PM

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Atatürk wrote:
Wilmar (USA) wrote:
Many math quizzes contain exactly that question -- what is the area of the trapezoid. If you can provide that answer, you certain know how to calculate the value. Sounds perfectly fine.


I don't mean a specific trapezoid, but the general formula. Now how would you put it, please?

"Jack, how do you find the area of a trapezoid?"
"Jack, tell me how (you)(to) find the area of a trapezoid."
srirr
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2019 11:51:58 PM

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It should be noted that conversational language is less formal and less pedantic than written language. Also, the language of mathematical/ engineering text (and teachers) is commonly not very refined. It puts least stress on nuances of language.

It is common to hear from a Mathematics teacher, "What is the area of a trapezoid?"
This is common even if the question is generic, and not about a specific figure.

To be more correct, he can also say, "What is the formula for (finding) the area of a trapezoid?"


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
palapaguy
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 12:25:52 AM

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Atatürk wrote:
What is the area of a trapezoid?

Natural?

Yes. The context obviously would be a question to a student, asking "How do you find the area of a trapezoid?"

Romany
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 5:50:34 AM
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"What is the area of a trapezoid?" is a question which can't be answered. It's like the old joke - "How long is a piece of string?"

Trapezoids - like cubes or circles or rectangles - can come in any size. There is no "standard" size. Thus one cannot make a general assessment of the size/area of one.

It's the "a" which makes it an impossible question to answer - because that would only apply if every single trapezoid one ever came across were of the same size.

The WAY one finds the area of a trapezoid, or a circle, or a rectangle is what the questions refers to: i.e. what is the formua one uses to determine the area of these kinds of shapes.

Ruth's answer provides the form the question takes in the classroom: "How do you find the area of a trapezoid?" That is what you want to know - whether or not the students have remembered the formula.

If you are, indeed, interested only in the dimensions of one particular trapezoid in particular then you'd ask: "What is the area of THIS/THAT trapezoid?"
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 6:38:29 AM

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Acreage?
Think


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
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