college algebra

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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 -

    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 -

    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 -

    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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