Erica H. answered • 01/16/16

Patient and Knowledgeable Tutoring By Erica H.

^{-2}

Marla P.

asked • 11/12/12If you have -3 with a -4 exponent

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Erica H. answered • 01/16/16

Patient and Knowledgeable Tutoring By Erica H.

-4^{-2}

Tamara J. answered • 11/12/12

Math Tutoring - Algebra and Calculus (all levels)

Negative exponents have the following property: n^{-m }= 1/n^{m} OR 1/n^{-m} = n^{m}

So for (-3)^{-4} , n= -3 and -m= -4 (or m= 4).

Thus, (-3)^{-4} = 1/(-3)^{4}.

Jordan K. answered • 11/12/12

Nationally Certified Math Teacher (grades 6 through 12)

^{-4}) using a positive exponent by taking the reciprocal of the base (-3) and applying the absolute value of the negative exponent (-4) to the denominator of the fraction like this: 1/(-3)^{4}. Now we can simplify the denominator by evaluating (-3)^{4} which is the same as writing (-3)(-3)(-3)(-3) giving us 81. So our fraction in simplest form is 1/81. One interesting thing to note here is that raising a negative number by an even numbered exponent gives a positive value (as in our case) and raising a negative number by an odd numbered exponent yields a negative result.

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