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how do you simplify exponets with variables

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The only way you can simplify exponents with variables is if the variables are the same.  For example:  If you have a^3/a^2 it can be simplified by cancelling out variables.  a^3 can be written a x a x a and a^2 can be written a x a, so the two a's in the denominator cancel out two in the numerator and you're left with just a.  Hope this helps!