# When multiplying exponents, such as x times x, would the answer be x^2 or 2x?

Apr 12, 2016

${x}^{2}$

#### Explanation:

Recall that an exponent tells us how many times a value is multiplied by itself.

For example:

• ${\textcolor{red}{2}}^{\textcolor{b l u e}{2}}$ means to multiply $\textcolor{red}{2}$ by itself $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{two}}$ times
• ${\textcolor{red}{4}}^{\textcolor{b l u e}{1}}$ means to multiply $\textcolor{red}{4}$ by itself $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{once}}$
• ${\textcolor{red}{x}}^{\textcolor{b l u e}{3}}$ means to multiply $\textcolor{red}{x}$ by itself $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{three}}$ times

In your case, ${x}^{2}$ means that $x$ is multiplied by itself $2$ times, or "$x \cdot x$".

In contrast, $2 x$ means $x$ is multiplied by $2$. You can think of $2 x$ as being "$x + x$" ($x$ plus $x$).