Subtract left to right (in your notation).

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Posted on 2013-12-16

I know that x^3/x^2=x but what would x^2/x^3 equal? Would it be x^-1 or just x?

Do you just take the difference between the two exponents or do you subtract them left to right?

Do you just take the difference between the two exponents or do you subtract them left to right?

3 Comments

x^2/x^3 = (x*x) / (x*x*x) = 1/x = x^(-1)

Most exponent rules are easy to verify with a simple expansion as above.

Let's plug 10 in for x in your original question and see what happens:

I know that 10^3/10^2=10 but what would 10^2/10^3 equal? Would it be 10^-1 or just 10?

or

I know that 1000/100=10 but what would 100/1000 equal? Would it be 1/10 or just 10?

Now you have both the answer and the reason behind the answer.

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