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ab -2 ¹ 2
ab ab -2 = a Correct :
Incorrect : In this case only the b gets the exponent since it is immediately off to the left of the exponent and
so only this term moves to the denominator. Do NOT carry the a down to the denominator with
the b. Contrast this with the following case. ( ab ) -2 = 1 ( ab ) 2 In this case the exponent is on the set of parenthesis and so we can just use property 7 on it and so
both the a and the b move down to the denominator. Again, note the importance of parenthesis
and how they can change an answer! Here is another common mistake. 1
¹ 3a 5
3a Correct : In this case the exponent is only on the a and so to use property 8 on this we would have to break
up the fraction as shown and then use property 8 only on the second term. To bring the 3 up with
the a we would have needed the following. © 2007 Paul Dawkins 4 http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/terms.aspx College Algebra 1 ( 3a ) -5 = ( 3a ) 5 Once again, notice this common mistake c...
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- Spring '12