Copyright
Math Courses / Course / Chapter

Measuring the Area of a Parallelogram: Formula & Examples

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has been teaching math for over 9 years. Amy has worked with students at all levels from those with special needs to those that are gifted.

Measuring the area of a parallelogram involves labelling the base and height measurements and using a formula. Understand the information needed to use the formula, learn why it's important to label measurements, and see the steps to solve for the area through a detailed example. Updated: 09/28/2021

A Parallelogram

A parallelogram is a four-sided flat shape with two pairs of equal parallel sides. This is to say that the opposite sides of a parallelogram are both equal to each other and parallel. The two pairs of opposite sides do not necessarily have to be the same length. You can have two different lengths for the two pairs.

A good way to picture a parallelogram is to picture a leaning box. If you take a moving box and punch out the ends, lean it against a wall, and then look at the opening, you would be looking at a parallelogram. It's a leaning rectangle!

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What Is a Rhombus? - Definition and Properties

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 A Parallelogram
  • 0:42 Labeling Your Measurements
  • 1:24 The Formula
  • 1:48 Using the Formula
  • 3:08 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Labeling Your Measurements

In order to find the area of a parallelogram, we need to label our measurements. There are only two measurements that we need to be concerned about. If our parallelogram is sitting on a flat surface, the first measurement we need is the length of the bottom side. This we can label with a b for base. We call this the base because it is the bottom of the parallelogram.

The next measurement we need is the height of the parallelogram. This is the straight up and down measurement from the bottom to the top. We can label this measurement h for height. Note that this is not how long the leaning sides are, but the distance between the bottom side and the top side.

The Formula

The formula to find the area of a parallelogram is this one:

Area = b * h.

Do your best to memorize this formula for the area of a parallelogram. With your parallelogram sitting flat, remember that to find the area, all you need is to multiply the length of the flat sides with how tall the parallelogram is. Only two numbers to worry about.

Using the Formula

Let's see how this formula works with an example.

We have a parallelogram here:

The area of this parallelogram is 18 square inches.
parallelogram

I see that it's sitting flat. I also see that the flat sides measure 6 inches, the leaning sides measure 4 inches, and it has a height of 3 inches.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Resources created by teachers for teachers

Over 30,000 video lessons & teaching resources‐all in one place.
Video lessons
Quizzes & Worksheets
Classroom Integration
Lesson Plans

I would definitely recommend Study.com to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.

Jennifer B.
Teacher
Jennifer B.
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account