Q:
# What are some tips for solving expressions with negative exponents?

**Moving a variable with a negative exponent to the opposite side of the fraction bar and changing the sign of the exponent to positive eliminates the negative exponents, allowing simplification of the fraction as normal.** The negative exponent indicates the reciprocal of the term to the positive power.

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Exponents are a shorthand way of writing multiplication problems. Instead of writing "2x2x2," mathematicians use the expression "2^3." However, a negative exponent indicates the need for the opposite operation of multiplication, which is division. The value of the negative exponent indicates the number of times to divide by its base. As with numerical fractions, the method of solving division problems is to invert and multiply.

Because of the special mathematical properties of multiplication, there is often more than one way to simplify an exponential fraction. The answer remains the same if an individual multiplies the expressions on either side of the fraction bar before or after eliminating the negative exponents. When the term is a polynomial to a negative power, moving it before multiplying keeps the calculations simpler.

Simplifying algebraic fractions is similar to simplifying numeric fractions. It requires dividing both the numerator and denominator by the greatest common factor. In numeric fractions, "12/16" simplifies to "3/4." With algebraic fractions, "x^2/x^3" becomes "1/x." However, simplifying exponential fractions have more rules. These rules require students to remove any negative exponents from the fraction in their final answers.

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Q:
## What are exponents with fractions?

A: If an exponent is a fraction, such as y^1/n, the correct operation is to take the nth root of the base number y. For example, 27^1/3 is the same thing as t... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What is a rational exponent?

A: A rational exponent is an exponent written as a fraction, such as 31/2, which is also equal to the square root of three. With a rational exponent, the nume... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What are negative and fractional exponents?

A: A negative exponent is one preceded by a minus sign, as in 5^(-5), while a fractional exponent is one that is not a whole number, such as 5^(3/5). An expon... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What is a rational exponent notation?

A: Rational or fractional exponents are another way of notating that some root of a base number should be taken, without using a radical sign. For instance, 1... Full Answer >Filed Under: