An exponent is a number that tells how many times the base number is used as a factor.

**For example:** 2^3 indicates that the base number 2 is used as a factor 3 times. To determine the value of 2^3, multiply 2 * 2 * 2 = 8.

If a negative number is raised to an even power, the result will be positive.

(-2)^4 = -2 * -2 * -2 * -2 = 16

If a negative number is raised to an odd power, the result will be negative.

(-2)^5 = -2 * -2 * -2 * -2 * -2 = -32

The negative number must be enclosed by parentheses to have the exponent apply to the negative.

**Example:**

(-2)^4 = -2 * -2 * -2 * -2 = 16

-2^4 = -(2 * 2 * 2 * 2) = -16