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


South Korea / Korean
I am wondering how I can read this in English.

For example, m³ , m².

(triple m? double m?)

I have no idea. Please help me!
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    Senior Member
    American English
    m-cubed or m-squared if they are mathematical terms. Cubic meters or square meters if they are measurements of volume or area.


    Senior Member
    English-American/New England
    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.)


    Senior Member
    English UK
    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:)


    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.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    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


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


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    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


    Senior Member
    American English (Mostly MidAtlantic)
    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.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    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
    British English
    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.
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