# Algebra question......I need a clearer explanation!

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In an exponentiation problem, the text states "Neuitt loses points on a test for saying, " 5^3 means 5 multiplied by itself 3 times." Explain the error.

The answer is "there are three 5's, not 3 "times" signs." hmmmmm....that is as clear as mud to me!!

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I think what it means is that "5 multiplied by itself 3 times" would look like this:

5 x 5 x 5 x 5

That's 5 multiplied by itself not just once (5x5) or twice (5x5x5) but three times (5x5x5x5)

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Gotcha!!! Thanks. I was definitely having a "duh" moment!!

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WAIT!!! 5^3 is 5x5x5. Only 3 fives. The exponent shows how many times the number appears in the equation--this is NOT a mathematical explanation, I'm just trying to help. That's why 10^2=100. 5^3=125 NOT 625.

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5^3 is 5x5x5. Only 3 fives.

Right. :) The issue, though, is why it would be wrong to say " 5^3 means 5 multiplied by itself 3 times. " I showed why that definition would not work. And you have given a much better definition. :)

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Yes, you're right. I read too hastily.

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