# How can I read this in English? m³ (3-small 3) - exponent

#### acidfunk

##### Member
I am wondering how I can read this in English.

For example, m³ , m².

(triple m? double m?)

##### Senior Member
m-cubed or m-squared if they are mathematical terms. Cubic meters or square meters if they are measurements of volume or area.

#### acidfunk

##### Member
Oh, easy! Cubic meters, square meters. Thank you #### mathman

##### Senior Member
An easy way to remember this is that a square with side m has an area equal to m times m, or m^2 (m-squared), and a cube with side m has volume equal to m times m times m, or m^3 (m-cubed). If m is the unit "meter," then you read these as copyright stated.

(m^2 means m with an exponent (superscript) of 2.)

#### preppie

##### Senior Member
2 raised to the fourth(power); 2 raised to the fifth (power)

#### beccamutt

##### Senior Member
2 raised to the fourth(power); 2 raised to the fifth (power)

Or simply: 2 to the fourth [power]; 2 to the fifth [power]

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
2 raised to the fourth(power); 2 raised to the fifth (power)
..... or 2 to the fourth, 2 to the fifth.

(We're moving away from areas and volumes now, of course )

EDIT: Dang, I see becca got there first! Well at least that proves 2 to the fourth etc works on both sides of the Atlantic #### Gisty

##### Member
That's great lesson. I wonder if i may ask a few more questions: 2^-2, 2^2+3, 2^0, 2^2/3. I would really appreciate your help.

#### beccamutt

##### Senior Member
That's great lesson. I wonder if i may ask a few more questions: 2^-2, 2^2+3, 2^0, 2^2/3. I would really appreciate your help.

2 to the negative 2 [power]
2 squared plus 3
2 to the zero power (I think, I've never seen this, was never a math buff )
2 squared divided by 3

#### Gisty

##### Member
Thank you, but why not 2^-2=two negative squared or may be two negatively squared. I hope, I'm not disturbing you again.

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
I can't tell you why.... But for me it would be 2 to the minus 2.

#### entangledbank

##### Senior Member
As a mathematician, I rarely use the word 'power' here. We normally read the expression a^b as "a to the b". If b is a simple number, I would use the ordinal:

a^4 = a to the fourth
7^9 = seven to the ninth

After a point, however, it becomes too awkward to stick on that '-th', so we just use the plain b.

x^-1 = x to the minus one
a^(b + 1) = a to the b plus one
15^0.5 = fifteen to the nought point five

#### preppie

##### Senior Member
Panj, Yes there really is Santa Clause .. and a 2^0.. anything raised to the 0 power is 1. It comes up lot in applied math.

Like English, math requires punctuation (especially without fonts or parentheses). 2^2/3 is either 2 to the two-thirds or 2 squared divided by three. Without explicit instructions it's 2 squared divided by three but I am not sure that's what you intended.

#### natkretep

##### Moderato con anima (English Only)
2 raised to the fourth(power); 2 raised to the fifth (power)

We were taught '2 to the power of four' or '2 raised to four': we never used any ordinals.

#### panjandrum

##### Lapsed Moderator
One of many factors that influences how people say these things is familiarity. For some, these little superscripts were a topic of passing interest, and little interest at that. They remember the words and expressions used when they were taught about the concept.

For others, they became a topic of everyday conversation - an element of routine working activity. The wordy expressions used at first have been overwhelmed by the forms used in routine and rapid communication. In any case, those wordy expressions don't work when the exponent is something long and complex.
Hence etb's "a to the b" and my "X to the Y".

#### Uncle Bob

##### Senior Member
Just one that entangledbank missed out.
x^0 is, for me, X to the nought (= 1) though if the word "power" were included it would be X to the power zero.

Last edited: