James B.

# variables with fractional exponents

In Algebra 2, I am given the following problem:

(x3/4 + y-1/2)2

I am told to expand and simplify. How do I solve this?

## 3 Answers By Expert Tutors

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Tutor
5 (5)

Effective High School STEM Tutor & CUNY Math Peer Leader

Tutor
5.0 (243)

Mathematics Teacher - NCLB Highly Qualified

James B.

I understand everything except when you multiply -1/2 times -1/2. Why is it -1 instead of 1? When you multiply a negative with a negative, don't you get a positive?
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05/15/15

Mark M.

tutor
y-1/2y-1/2 = y(-1/2+-1/2) = y-1

(y-1/2)2 = y(-1/2)(2)  = y-1
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05/15/15

Mark M.

Exponents on like bases are added, ax · ay = ax+y
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05/15/15

James B.

Thank you. I just realized my mistake myself.
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05/15/15

Tutor
4.9 (912)

Math Tutor--High School/College levels

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