# Math Is Fun Forum

Discussion about math, puzzles, games and fun.   Useful symbols: ÷ × ½ √ ∞ ≠ ≤ ≥ ≈ ⇒ ± ∈ Δ θ ∴ ∑ ∫  π  -¹ ² ³ °

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## #1 2013-05-31 18:29:28

Hostible
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 5

### common mistake

Know that -a^2 means -1 x a^2 and not -a x -a.
The reason is that -a^2 has its coefficient as -1
Therefore -a x -a = a^2 and and not -a^2.
This symbol ^ implies exponent.

Last edited by Hostible (2013-05-31 18:30:49)

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## #2 2014-10-30 22:49:24

DeanPemberton
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2014-10-30
Posts: 20
Website

### Re: common mistake

Thank for explaining this exponential function here, I completely understand the equation. Here coefficient is different thing and variable is different.

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## #3 2021-05-15 04:50:47

mathland
Member
Registered: 2021-03-25
Posts: 444

### Re: common mistake

Hostible wrote:

Know that -a^2 means -1 x a^2 and not -a x -a.
The reason is that -a^2 has its coefficient as -1
Therefore -a x -a = a^2 and and not -a^2.
This symbol ^ implies exponent.

True but (-a)^2 is totally different.

We know that (-a)^2 = (-a)(-a) = a^2.

How about -(a)^2?

Let me see.

-[(a)(a)]

-(a^2)

-a^2

Agree?

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