Nationally Certified Math Teacher (grades 6 through 12)
We can rewrite (-3-4) 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.