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Exponents with negative bases

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Videos, worksheets, stories and songs to help Grade 6 students learn about exponents with negative bases.
In this lesson, we will learn how to evaluate negative numbers raise to powers with and without parenthesis.

We can have a negative base raised to a power.
Remember to take note of the parenthesis.
For example,
−24 = −16, (−2)4 = 16

A negative base raised to an even power is positive. A negative base raised to an odd power is negative.
For example,
(−2)4 = 16, (−2)3 = −8

Evaluating Negative Numbers Raised to Powers This video provides examples of evaluating negative numbers raise to powers with and without parentheses.
Exponents with negative bases and exponents with positive bases.

We can use the rules of the multiplication of negative numbers to determine the sign of a negative base raised to an exponent. Remember that a negative number times a positive number is a negative number and that two negative numbers multiplied together is a positive number.
What this means is odd numbers of negative bases -- that is, when negative bases are raised to odd numbered powers, give us negative results. When negative bases are raised to even numbered powers, they give us positive results.
Exponents with Negative Bases

Evaluate Powers
Learn how to evaluate powers.

You can use the Mathway widget below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem. Then click "Answer" to check your answer.

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