# How do you simplify 5x^-4 with positive exponents?

Jul 23, 2016

$\frac{5}{x} ^ 4$

#### Explanation:

One of the laws of indices states: ${x}^{-} m = \frac{1}{x} ^ m$

Note $5 {x}^{-} 4$ is not the same as ${\left(5 x\right)}^{-} 4$

$5 {x}^{-} 4 = 5 \times {x}^{-} 4 \text{ just for clarity}$

=$\frac{5}{x} ^ 4$

In the case of ${\left(5 x\right)}^{-} 4$, we would get $\frac{1}{5 x} ^ 4$