Finding the area of a parallelogram is fairly straightforward to do. All you need to do is multiply the base length of the parallelogram by its vertical height. The perpendicular height is the shortest distance between the top and bottom edge of the parallelogram (at right angles to the base). Make sure you don't use the length of the sloping height.

We can summarise this using the formula:

Area = base length × perpendicular height


Question 1

Find the area of this parallelogram.

Parallelogram 1

All you need to do is multiply the base length of the parallelogram by its perpendicular height.

Therefore:

Area = base length × perpendicular height

= 8 × 6 = 48 cm²

Make sure you put squared centimetres at the end of your answer.

Question 2

Find the area of this parallelogram.


Parallelogram 2

Again, all you need to do now is multiply the base length of the parallelogram by its vertical height. Ignore the slanted side length of 6cm – this has been put in to catch you out. Always ignore the lengths of any sloping side lengths. The perpendicular height is 5cm, as this is at right angles to the base length. So all we need to do now is substitute our numbers into the formula for the area of a parallelogram:

Area = base length × perpendicular height

= 9 × 5

=45 cm²

Again make sure you include the units of area at the end of your answer.

Summary

Find the area of the parallelogram by multiplying the base length by its perpendicular height. Don't use the sloping side length.