What’s The Difference?

By Norman, 11th Grader

From showme.com

What IS the difference between -2x^4 and (-2x)^4?

They sound alike. 

-2x^4=(-2)x x x x

But (-2x)^4 = (-2x)(-2x)(-2x)(-2x). They are not the same at all.

-2x^4 is just -2 times x to 4th power.  It just has one negative. (-2x)^4 is 4 negatives! (-2x)^4 may seem confusing, but it’s just multiplying -2x four times, for example (-2x)(-2x)(-2x)(-2x).

This is one of the “most missed” problems in Algebra.  Be careful!

Good Example

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