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Math Help - Dividing, multiplying, adding & subtracting algebra expressions with exponents

  1. #1
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    Dividing, multiplying, adding & subtracting algebra expressions with exponents

    Anyone know why don't exponents change with addition and subtraction and the opposite with division and multiplication?

    I know how to do the equations and everything, but I really want to know WHY.

    My thanks goes to anyone who can help!

    Edit:

    If you don't know what I mean...
    I was looking for an explanation on why 2x^2+2x^2 = 4x^2
    whereas 2x^2 multiplied by 2x^2 = 4x^4
    Last edited by Hazins; December 12th 2010 at 07:48 PM. Reason: explaining
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  2. #2
    Master Of Puppets
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    Can you follow the pattern?

    2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples

    2x + 2x = 4x

    2x^2+2x^2 = 4x^2
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  3. #3
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    And, of course, (2 apples)(2 apples)= 4(apples x apples)= 4 apples^2!
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