Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
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

Working with Negative Exponents

Negative exponents are a way of writing powers of fractions or decimals without using a fraction or decimal. You use negative exponents as a way to combine expressions with the same base, whether the different factors are in the numerator or denominator. It's a way to change division problems into multiplication problems.

Example: Instead of writing

image0.png image1.png

A reciprocal of a number is the multiplicative inverse of the number. The product of a number and its reciprocal is equal to 1.

image2.png image3.png image4.png

The variable x is any real number except 0, and the exponent a is any real number. And, going to the negative side,


The following examples show you how to change from positive to negative exponents, and vice versa.


If you start out with a negative exponent in the denominator, then the negative exponent in the denominator comes up to the numerator with a change in the sign to a positive exponent. For example,


Then you get,

blog comments powered by Disqus

Inside Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.