If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Measuring Line Segments

In this example of measuring a line segment, the numbers span across the positive and negative. Remember, line segments and points are the foundations of geometry, so this is an important concept. Created by Sal Khan.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

- [Instructor] What is BD, so when they're just saying BD, they're saying literally the length of segment BD. So they're saying the length from B, point B to point D. And B is sitting here at negative two, D here is at five. So you're looking at really the distance between negative two and five. So you literally could just say, well, that's gonna be five, that's kind of our endpoint, minus negative two, so five minus negative two is the same thing as five plus two, or seven. Another way, you could literally just count it out. Count out the distance, you go one, two, to get to zero, three, four, five, six, seven, to get all the way to five. Or you could say, look, I got to get, I got to go two to the right just to get, I got to go two to the right just to get to zero, and I got to go five more to the right to get to D, so that's going to be seven. Let's do a couple more, what is BD again? Well, here we're going from one to four. The distance between one and four is three. And then let's do one more, what is AD? So A is a negative five, D is all the way at four. So we're going from negative five to zero, which is five, and then we're gonna go four more, five plus four is nine. Or you could say, hey look, we start at negative five, we end up at four, four minus negative five is the same thing as four plus five, which is nine.