Rule 2: To divide identical bases, subtract the exponents.

Example 7: Simplify tex2html_wrap_inline79 .

Solution: You may combine the base x's, and you many combine the base y's. You may not combine the x, the y, the 3, and the 2 into one entity.

tex2html_wrap_inline79 can be written


which in turn can be written tex2html_wrap_inline85 .

You can check your answer with a calculator by letting x and y take on any value in the initial problem and in the answer. For example, suppose you let x = 3 and y = 4. The problem tex2html_wrap_inline79 can then be written


Now let's substitute 3 for x and 4 for y in the final expression tex2html_wrap_inline85 . We have


You have just shown that your answer is correct.

If you would like to work a problem click on the word, Problem.

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Author: Nancy Marcus

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