CSAT 2021

Q. Images of consonants of the English alphabet (Capitals) are observed in a mirror. What is the number of images of these which do not look like their original shapes?

(a) 13
(b) 14
(c) 15
(d) 16
Correct Answer: (b) 14

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 CSAT Paper

Explanation : 

Counting Altered Mirror Images of Capital English Consonants

When you look at the capital letters of the English alphabet in a mirror, some of them appear to be the same as their original shapes while others do not. The letters that do not look like their original shapes when observed in a mirror are: B, C, D, E, G, J, K, L, N, P, Q and R. That makes a total of 14 letters.

When you look at an object in a mirror, the image you see is a reflection of the object. This reflection is flipped horizontally, meaning that the left side of the object appears on the right side of the image and vice versa. This flipping can cause some shapes to appear different when viewed in a mirror.

In the case of capital letters of the English alphabet, some letters have horizontal symmetry and appear unchanged when viewed in a mirror. These letters are A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W and X.

For example: The letter ‘B’ has two vertical lines and one horizontal line. When viewed in a mirror its horizontal line flips to become vertical while its vertical lines flip to become horizontal. This causes it to look different from its original shape.

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