# Easy Translational Motion Question

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

#### DPTinthemaking15

##### Full Member
7+ Year Member
Alright, for some reason this type of question has always stumped me, but I can never find a resource clearly explaining it. This is the question from TBR: "An ox pulls a tree trunk 4km in a direction 50 degrees east of North. What are the components of the ox's displacement in the easterly and northerly directions?"

Here is my issue. I understand that you multiply by sin/cos to arrive at the correct answer, but my issue is determining what degrees go into the right triangle. For example, TBR shows that 40 degrees goes into the right triangle and I have never understood why. Can anyone explain?

Members don't see this ad.

Okay, you can start by thinking of a standard x-y axis. The y-axis going straight up is north, and 50 degrees east of north is just turning that slightly to the right by 50 degrees. What's left (90 degrees in total) is 40 degrees.

Hi, DPTinthemaking15-

Technically, you can use either 50 or 40 degree angles; just make sure you use the correct trig function. Here is a picture that I hope will help explain what I mean:

Good Luck!

Thank you so much!!!! Everything makes sense now.