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January 24th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #1
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variable and the exponent

Thank you for reading, this is a pre-algebra question.

So the book says I am right on -5^2 = -25, how I solved it is -(5^2)=-25

But I got this problem wrong, which is, b^2, for b=-4, I do not see any parentheses, I solved it as -(4^2), therefore -16.

But it says that it's +16. Why is it +16 when there are no parentheses?

Are you supposed to add the parentheses and calculate when you replace variable with a number?

Please help me out, thank you in advance for your generous help.
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January 24th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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Yes; when the parentheses will affect the value of the expression, you should add them when you replace a variable.
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