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In the earlier classes, we have learnt what circles and the terms related to the circle are. Now, let us analyse what happens if a circle and a line are on a plane.

Let us discuss some situations when a circle and a line intersect.

Situation 1: The line $$AB$$ does not touch the circle. Here, there is no common point between the straight line $$AB$$ and the circle.

Therefore, the number of points of intersection is zero.

Situation 2: The line $$AB$$ touches the circle at one point. Here, there is one common point $$P$$ between the straight line $$AB$$ and the circle.

The line $$AB$$ is called the tangent to the circle at $$P$$.

Therefore, the number of points of intersection is one.

Situation 3: The line $$AB$$ touches the circle at two points. Here, there are two common points $$P$$ and $$Q$$ between the straight line $$AB$$ and the circle.

The line $$AB$$ is called the secant of the circle.

Therefore, the number of points of intersection is two.

Important!
The line segment inscribed in a circle is called the chord of the circle. The chord is a sub-section of a secant.