OML Search

Subtracting Indices

Related Topics:
More Lessons for Arithmetic Math
Math Worksheets

The following diagram shows how to divide exponents by subtracting indices. Scroll down the page for more examples and solutions for dividing exponents.

Divide Exponents

When dividing numbers in exponent notation with the same base, we subtract the exponents.


Text Box: a5 ÷ a2 =                =                 = a3

This is the second law of exponents:

Text Box: am  ÷  an =


Simplify the following expressions, giving your answers in exponent form

Text Box: a)	43 ÷ 42  b)	y8 ÷ y6  c)	   d)	p5 ÷ p3 ÷ p


Text Box: a) 43 ÷ 42 = 43–2   = 41   = 4    b) y8 ÷ y6 =  y8–6   = y2    c)      d)

Common Error : The second law of exponent does NOT apply to subtraction of numbers in exponent notation.

Text Box: am – an

The following video shows more examples of subtraction of exponents:
Subtracting Exponents

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

OML Search

We welcome your feedback, comments and questions about this site or page. Please submit your feedback or enquiries via our Feedback page.

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines