Exponent Rules with Negative Numbers

Algebra
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Explain what you would need to do if there were a negative exponent present in the denominator of a fraction? Be very specific. And, explain what you would need to do if there were a negative exponent present in the numerator of a fraction. Be very specific.

Oct 24th, 2015

Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your question!

If the negative exponent is in the denominator of a fraction move it to the numerator of the fraction and the exponent becomes positive. The reverse happens when the negative exponent is in the numerator. Move the term with the negative exponent from the numerator to the denominator and the exponent becomes positive. Here is an example of each case.

3/(2x^-2)=(3x^2)/2 This is when the term x moves from the denominator moves to the numerator. Notice how the 2 stays in the denominator as it is not the term that has the negative exponent.

5x^-3=3/(x^3) This is when the term x with the negative exponent moves from the numerator to the denominator. The 5 does not move because it is not raised to a negative exponent.

To simplify: Just move it across the division line and the exponent turns from negative to positive.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
Oct 24th, 2015

Could you give an example using only variables and no coefficients?

Oct 24th, 2015

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