Posted by **tara** on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 10:20pm.

if you have a problem where you are multiplying numbers with exponents (both positive and negative) and your answer ends up with a negative exponent what is the reason you make a fraction out of it and put it on the bottom as a positive?

why cant you have a negative exponent in an answer?

- college algebra -
**drwls**, Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 10:28pm
You are right. You can write the answer either way.

For example, if a and b are both positive,

x^a*x^-b = x^(a-b) or 1/x^(b-a)

- college algebra -
**tara**, Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 10:48pm
but why cant there be a neg. on top? why do u move it to the bottom and make it positive?(note:neg6,5,2 and 4 are exponents)

(4a-6b5)(7a2b4)= 28a-5b9

the final answer will be 28b9

over

a5

my question was why do you move the "a" negative 5 to the bottom and make it a postive "a" 5

I hope i'm wording this right.

- college algebra -
**drwls**, Friday, February 15, 2008 at 1:32am
You can. Just move the exponent up or down between numerator and denominator and change the sign. It's the same number either way.

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