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# -2 to the power of 2

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is -2 to the power of 2 (-22) positive 4 or negative 4?

Mar 25, 2022

#1
+1

Well, this depends. Are you asking -(2)^2 or (-2)^2? This matters because, as per the order of operations, exponents are calculated first. So, in the first situation:

-(2)^2 = -4

In the second situation, however, we are squaring the entire expression of -2. A negative squared is a positive, so (-2)^2 = 4.

Does the question look like -2^2 or (-2)^2? Because that will change the answer.

Let me know if I did anything wrong! Hope this helps.

Mar 25, 2022
#2
+1

I didn't realize the negative can be calculated differently. What I meant was (-2)^2. The web2.0calc calculator says -4 but my iPhone calculator says 4 so I got a little confused. I heard before that the iPhone calculator does order of operations wrong so maybe that is why.

Guest Mar 25, 2022
#3
+1

Thanks inhuman calculator, you have given a great answer [You should give yourself a point ]

-(3)^2 can be expanded to   -1*(3)^2    now it should be easy to see that the answer is -1*9 = -9

however

(-3)^2   is   -3 * -3  =  +9

Mar 25, 2022
edited by Melody  Mar 25, 2022