Exponents and Absolute Value

Exponents … the exponent tells how many times to use the base as a factor.  The exponent is attached to the single character (number) directly below the exponent and to the left unless a parenthesis is used and then the exponent affects everything within the parenthesis.  Therefore, is very different from

Absolute value  … is the distance of a number from zero.  The evaluation of an absolute value is always positive.   and

Understand the difference between the evaluation of an expression like    and .
In the first expression, absolute value has to be evaluated first and then the negation on the outside makes the expression negative 9.  In the second expression the evaluation is multiplying a negative 9 {on the inside} times a negative1 {assumed by the  –(   } which results in positive 9.

General Algebra Tips

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of Mary Lou Baker.
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This page was edited on 09-Jan-2014