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# How do you add exponents?

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An exponent is a shorthand way of showing how many times to multiply a number by itself. The number 9 with a small raised 3 on its upper right, also commonly expressed as 9^3, represents the base of 9 to the 3rd power, for instance; the raised 3 is the exponent. Simplify multiplication of two exponents with the same base number using exponent addition.

## Keep Learning

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1. ### Recognize the common base number

In some math expressions, the base numbers are given. In the formula 9^3 times 9^5, for instance, the base number is 9 in each case. In algebraic expressions, the formula might show x^3 times x^5.

2. ### Add exponent numbers and combine the bases

To multiply two like base numbers, add the exponents and merge them into one. In 9^3 times 9^5, adding the exponents 3 and 5 equals 8. Therefore, this two-part formula is simplified to 9^8.

3. ### Solve the equation

Use the simplified base number and exponent to solve the equation. If the objective was to solve for x when you multiply 9^3 times 9^5, 9^8 = x. Multiply 9 by itself, then multiply the result by 9 six more times, or use a scientific calculator and enter 9, the "x to the y power" key and 8.

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## Related Questions

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The distributive property of exponents is a mathematical rule that applies to an exponent that acts on a term that is within parentheses. It says that if there is a single term in the base, such as "3x," and it is raised to a certain power, like "(3x)^6," the exponent applies to all parts of the term, in this case to both the three and the "x."

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Negative scientific notation is expressing a number that is less than one, or is a decimal with the power of 10 and a negative exponent. An example of a number that is less than one is the decimal 0.00064. To express this decimal in scientific notation, one has to use the power of 10 and a negative exponent.

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Exponential math is any mathematical operation involving an exponent, which is the number or symbol placed above and after another number or symbol to indicate the power to which the former number is to be raised, Wikipedia explains. The operation 4 x 4, for example, is written exponentially as 4^2.