# How do you simplify #2m^-2# and write it using only positive exponents?

##### 1 Answer

#### Explanation:

The thing to remember about *exponents* is that they essentially **switch signs** every time you move terms from *one side* of the fraction bar to the other, i.e. from the numerator to the denominator, or vice versa.

Take, for example,

#2 = 2/1 = 2^1/1#

If you want to write **negative exponent**, you have to do two things

move#2# from thenumeratorof#2^1/1# to thedenominatorswitch the signof its exponent

You would have

#2^1/1 = 1/2^color(red)(-1)#

Now try this for **positive exponent**, you must move

#m^(-2) = 1/m^color(red)(2)#

And there you have it. Put it all together to find

#2 * m^(-2) = 2 * 1/m^(2)#

Do one more for good practice. How would you write **positive exponents**?

Move

#a^(-2)/3 = 1/3 * 1/a^color(red)(2) = 1/(3a^color(red)(2)#