Exponents multiply when they are outside of parenthesis (Example: (x^4)^3=x^12) and add when they are on the same variable being multiplied (Example: (x^4)(x^3)=(x^7).
In this case, the 4 outside of the parenthesis multiplies to both the numerator and the denominator. Careful to pay attention to both numbers on the top though! The 4 applies to the 3 and the x^4 separately. After multiplying that through, you have:
((3^4)(x^16))/(y^12)
A negative exponent becomes positive when you switch the number to the other side of the fraction (numerator to denominator or vice versa). Let's do that with the 3^4.
(x^16)/((3^4)(y^12))
Now multiply out the 3^4 to get the final answer:
(x^16)/(81y^12)
10/11/2013

Erica M.
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