Parentheses are used in mathematical equations for grouping. By grouping the symbols, the parentheses tell what order to apply the mathematical symbols. It means that the calculation within the parentheses is done first. If terms within a parenthesis are raised to a power, each coefficient and variable within the parentheses is raised to that power.

Check to see if the exponent is zero. Anything raised to the zero power is 1 no matter what is within the parentheses. For instance, 125^0=1 and (x+4y+6x^2+8z)^0=1.

Check to see if the exponent is 1. Any number raised to the 1 power is itself. For instance, 6^1=6 and (x+4y+6x^2+8z)^1=x+4y+6x^2+8z.

Complete the calculation within the parentheses. In the problem (3+4+6)^3 add the numbers inside the parentheses first: 3+4+6=13. Add similar variables if working with variables instead of actual numbers. For example, if the problem is (2x+4x)^2 add the similar terms first, 2x+4x=6x

Raise the calculated number to the power. In the previous number problem (3+4+6)^3=13^3=13x13x13=2,197. In the variable problem (2x+4x)^2=(6x)^2=36x^2.

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About the Author

Diane Stevens' professional experience started in 1970 with a computer programming position. Beginning in 1985, running her own business gave her extensive experience in personal and business finance. Her writing appears on Orbitz's Travel Blog and other websites. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the State University of New York at Albany.

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