How to Find the Sum of Two Cubes
How to Distribute Positive and Negative Numbers
When to Distribute or Add First in Algebraic Distribution

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.

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

  1. Distribute

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    Here's what you'll get.

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  2. Add the exponents.

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

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  4. Change terms with negative exponents to fractions.

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