# How do you simplify -4^2?

Jun 23, 2018

$- 16$

#### Explanation:

Given: $- {4}^{2}$.

It's very easily to confuse this with ${\left(- 4\right)}^{2}$. Just remember that $- {a}^{2} \ne {\left(- a\right)}^{2}$ with all $a \in \mathbb{R} , \mathbb{C}$.

This is the same thing as writing:

$- \left({4}^{2}\right)$

$= - 16$

Alternatively, we can use $\boldsymbol{P E M D A S}$ to figure this out, as exponents will go first. Then, we just add a negative sign in front of the number. Also evaluates to $- 16$.