"What's the difference between (−x)^2,−x^2 and −(x)^2 ? (−x)^2 is definately equal to (−1)^2(x)^2, right? But −(x)^2 and −x^2 are confusing me, do they mean −(x^2) or do they mean (−1)^2(x)^2?"

Sophie Marks 2022-11-19 Answered
What's the difference between ( x ) 2 , x 2 and ( x ) 2 ?
( x ) 2 is definately equal to ( 1 ) 2 ( x ) 2 , right?
But ( x ) 2 and x 2 are confusing me, do they mean ( x 2 ) or do they mean ( 1 ) 2 ( x ) 2 ?
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Answers (1)

Answered 2022-11-20 Author has 17 answers
Because the unary − has lower priority than exponentiation, convention∗ says
( x ) 2 = x 2 = ( x 2 ) = x x
The parentheses just clarify the meaning here. In the expression ( x ) 2 = ( x ) ( x ) = x 2 they are essential.
This convention is very similar to the way that
3 2 4 = 3 ( 2 4 )
must be handled.
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