Exponents

An exponent, or power, is a small number in the top right corner of another, larger number. The value of a number tells how many times to multiply the large number by itself.

In the example above, the base number, or larger number, is 13. The exponent, or power, is 9. This written out  could look like this:

13×13×13×13×13×13×13×13×13

This is 13 multiplied by itself 9 times. The answer is 10,604,499,373.

Now, try this problem on your own based on the problem above.

9⁷

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Now, you should have gotten 4, 782, 969. If you didn't, go back and make sure your work is just like mine.

But what if the base number is negative? Well, if the base is negative, you will multiply the base number by the positive version of itself. Take -3⁴ for example.

-3⁴ would be -3×3×3×3

Now you try.

-8⁵

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The answer should be -32, 768.

This rule changes when there's parentheses around the negative base number. When there are parentheses, you must multiply the negative number by itself, including the negative. Let's try this one.

(-4)⁵

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To do this, you could spread it out like this:

-4×-4×-4×-4×-4

The answer if you have done this correctly is -1,024.

This concludes our lesson on exponents. I hope you have learned something new today! :-)

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