Simplify the expression (3x^2 y^3 )^(-2) Assume that denominators are not zero 

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A power to the negative simply tells you that the base needs to be divided so in other words  x^-2 means that the x should be a denominator thus = 1/ x^2. Note how the negative (-) is no longer relavant. It is NOT a negative symbol but indicates that you must use the rules of exponents to solve it. Hence, and remembering that 3 is also to a power of -2:

(3x^2  y^3) ^ -2   =   1/ 9 x^4  y^6