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Lines of Symmetry

                                               

A line of symmetry is an imaginary line that can be drawn through an object, where one side is a perfect reflection (a mirror image) of the other side.

In other words, a line of symmetry is a line on which you can fold the image. If both halves line up perfectly, that is a line of symmetry. Otherwise, it is not.

This butterfly, for example, has a vertical line of symmetry. If you were to fold the butterfly at the line, each half would match exactly. These are called reflections or mirror images.

These two sides are reflections or mirror images, and is also referred to as reflection symmetry.

Let’s take a look at some common polygons to see how many lines of symmetry they have.

A. Triangles

1. A regular triangle (equilateral) has 3 lines of symmetry because it can be folded along each of three lines and line up perfectly.

2. An isosceles triangle (where two sides are equal) has only one line of symmetry because  it has only one line on which it can be perfectly folded.

3. A scalene triangle has no lines of symmetry.

B. Quadrilaterals:Different quadrilaterals have different lines of symmetry.

1.  A square has 4 lines of symmetry.

2. A parallelogram has 0 line of symmetry.

3. A rhombus has 2 lines of symmetry.

C. Pentagons:

1.  A regular pentagon has 5 lines of symmetry.

2. This pentagon has 1 line of symmetry.

The pattern for all regular polygons is that they have the same number of lines of symmetry as the sides they have.

For Example: A regular hexagon has 6 lines of symmetry.

Summary

A line of symmetry is an imaginary line that can be drawn through an object, where one side is a perfect reflection (a mirror image) of the other side.

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