Area of Parallelogram – Formula, Definition With Examples

Greetings, young mathematicians! Welcome back to Brighterly, your go-to place for understanding the wonderful world of numbers, shapes, and equations. Today, we’re embarking on a thrilling journey into the realm of geometry. We’ll unravel the mysteries of a particularly interesting shape – the parallelogram. What makes it unique? How does it stand out among its quadrilateral siblings? And most importantly, how can we calculate its area? These questions may sound complex, but fret not! At Brighterly, we believe in turning complex ideas into simple and engaging learning experiences. Let’s set sail!

What Is a Parallelogram?

A parallelogram is a four-sided shape, a quadrilateral, where opposite sides are equal in length and parallel. Yes, you read that right – the word ‘parallelogram’ literally means ‘parallel lines’. Quite the name, isn’t it? Parallelograms can take many forms. They can be tall and skinny, short and wide, or anywhere in between, but those opposite sides will always remain parallel.

Definition of a Parallelogram

Let’s break down the definition of a parallelogram further. In a parallelogram, both pairs of opposite sides are equal and parallel. This means if you drew a line down the middle of a parallelogram, both halves would mirror each other perfectly. This symmetry makes parallelograms an interesting study in the world of geometry. Additionally, the opposite angles of a parallelogram are equal, another defining feature of this fascinating shape.

Definition of Area

The area is a term that describes the size of a 2-dimensional shape or surface. It answers the question, ‘how much space does this shape cover?’ In other words, if you think of your favorite painting or drawing, the area is the ‘canvas’ the artist worked on. In maths, the area is usually measured in square units (like square inches, square feet, or square meters) and it plays a crucial role in various mathematical and real-life applications.

Properties of Parallelograms

Parallelograms have unique properties that make them stand out in the crowd of quadrilaterals. Apart from the fact that opposite sides are equal and parallel, the diagonals of a parallelogram bisect each other, creating equal halves. Also, each diagonal divides the parallelogram into two congruent triangles. These characteristics make parallelograms intriguing subjects for deeper exploration in geometry.

Properties of Area

The area, as mentioned before, measures the extent of a 2-dimensional surface. Area retains its value irrespective of the shape’s rotation or translation – meaning, if you move or rotate a shape, its area remains the same. This property is known as invariance. Understanding the area’s properties and how they interact with different shapes, like our friend the parallelogram, is key to mastering geometry.

Properties of the Area of Parallelograms

What’s unique about the area of a parallelogram? One of the fundamental properties is that the area of a parallelogram is equal to the product of its base and height (we’ll get to the formula shortly). Another interesting fact is that the area remains unchanged even if the parallelogram is reshaped into a rectangle with the same base and height.

Difference Between Area of a Parallelogram and Other Shapes

The formula for the area of a parallelogram distinguishes it from other shapes. While the area of a rectangle is also the product of its base and height, the area of a triangle is half the product of its base and height. The area of a circle, on the other hand, is completely different and involves π (Pi). Understanding these differences is vital when solving real-world problems involving these shapes.

Formula for the Area of a Parallelogram

So, what is the formula for calculating the area of a parallelogram? It’s quite simple:

Area = Base x Height

Here, the base is any one of the sides, and the height (or altitude) is the perpendicular distance from the base to the opposite side.

Understanding the Formula for the Area of a Parallelogram

Why does this formula work? Imagine ‘slicing off’ a triangular section from one end of the parallelogram and ‘moving’ it to the other side. You can see that the parallelogram can be rearranged into a rectangle without changing its area. Hence, the formula for the area of a parallelogram is similar to that of a rectangle.

Writing Area Calculation for Parallelograms

When solving problems involving the area of a parallelogram, it’s crucial to correctly write down your calculation. For instance, if a parallelogram has a base of 6 units and a height of 4 units, the calculation would be written as:

Area = Base x Height = 6 units x 4 units = 24 square units

Practice Problems on Area of Parallelograms

Let’s apply what we’ve learned with a few practice problems:

  1. A parallelogram has a base of 5 cm and a height of 3 cm. What is its area?
  2. Another parallelogram has an area of 36 square meters and a height of 4 meters. What is its base?

Remember, practice is key to mastering any mathematical concept!


That concludes our exciting expedition into the realm of parallelograms. We’ve navigated the intricate corridors of definitions, properties, and formulas, ultimately emerging with a greater understanding of this fascinating shape. We at Brighterly are proud of your mathematical journey and your ever-growing thirst for knowledge. Remember, every shape in geometry has a story to tell and an equation to share. The world around us is filled with hidden parallelograms waiting to be discovered. So, the next time you see an intriguing shape, we hope you’ll recall this lesson and see the world through the lens of geometry. Keep practicing, stay curious, and continue shining brightly with Brighterly!

As always, if you have any questions or want to dive deeper into any topic, feel free to reach out to us. At Brighterly, we’re more than just a learning platform – we’re a community of passionate learners and educators. And remember, the journey of learning never ends. Until next time, happy learning!

Frequently Asked Questions on the Area of Parallelograms

We’ve prepared some answers to questions that often come up about the area of parallelograms. These are not only meant to clarify your doubts but also provide you with additional insights.

What if I don’t know the height of the parallelogram, only the sides and angles?

In that case, you can use trigonometry. The height can be calculated by multiplying one side length by the sine of the adjacent angle.

Does the formula for the area of a parallelogram apply to all types of parallelograms?

Yes, the formula (base x height) applies to all types of parallelograms, including rectangles and squares, which are special types of parallelograms.

Can the area of a parallelogram be negative?

No, the area of any shape is always a positive quantity. It represents the amount of space enclosed by the shape, which can’t be negative.

Information Sources:
  1. Wolfram MathWorld – Parallelogram
  2. BBC Bitesize – Properties of Parallelograms
  3. – Area of a Parallelogram

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