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# What do you do with negative powers?

2 years ago

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Arielle Jenkins

1 Answer

Ante R
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Depends on whether the base is negative, or the exponent is negative.

**In case of a negative base:**

(-a)^x = (-a)(-a)(-a)...(-a) -> [x times]

**In case of a negative exponent:**

a^(-x) = 1 / (a^x)

**Examples:**

(-2)^3 = (-2)(-2)(-2) = -8

2^(-3) = 1 / 2^3 = 1/8

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