Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

How to Simplify Negative Exponents with Variables

Distributing with negative exponents means that you'll have fractional answers. A base that has a negative exponent can be changed to a fraction. The base and the exponent become the denominator, but the exponent loses its negative sign in the process. You then cap it all off with a 1 in the numerator.

image0.png

The following steps show how a negative exponent can lead to a fraction.

  1. Distribute

    image1.png

    Here's what you'll get.

    image2.png
  2. Add the exponents.

    image3.png
  3. The factor of b with the 0 exponent becomes 1.

    image4.png
  4. Change terms with negative exponents to fractions.

    image5.png
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.