Originally Posted by

**Henderson** The hint suggests that you'll need a perpendicular line through the point. Perpendicular to 3x + y is x - 3y. So:

$\displaystyle x - 3y = C$

$\displaystyle (-5) - 3(-2) = C$ (substituting in your point)

$\displaystyle 1 = C$ (simplifying)

$\displaystyle x - 3y = 1$

This line goes from your point to your original line at a right angle. So, if you can find the intersection of these two lines, the distance would be the distance from your original point to this intersection.

Say the word if you need more past this.