The Singing Hedgehog Guide to:

Indices in Algebra

It is really important to remember that the power tells us

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Indices in Algebra

It is really important to remember that the power tells us

how many things are multiplied together.

So x^{3 }means "three lots of x **multiplied together**".

It is **NOT **"three lots of x"!

x^{3} = x.x.x |
x^{3} ≠ 3x |

This means we can only combine terms in the same unknown:

x^{3}.x^{2} = x.x.x.x.x = x^{5 } |
x^{3}.y^{2} = x.x.x.y.y = x^{3}.y^{2} ≠ (xy)^{5} |

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