# Question #70fcd

##### 1 Answer

If by 'distribute,' you mean

Remember that exponentiation is repeated multiplication. The first example,

which is the same thing as

If instead of leaving the 2 outside, we distribute it within the parenthesis, then the following occurs:

or, alternatively:

which is clearly different from

You cannot distribute within something raised to a power because due to order of operations, you evaluate the parenthesis, then raise that to its exponent, and then multiply by the coefficient *once*. When you distribute like that, you're causing the coefficient to be multiplied many times, instead of just once. This produces something different than what you had originally.