If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

# Intro to exponents

Learn how to use exponents and bases. For example, writing 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 with an exponent.
Here's what an exponent and a base look like:
start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10, end superscript
The small number written above and to the right of a number is called an start color #e07d10, start text, e, x, p, o, n, e, n, t, end text, end color #e07d10. The number underneath the exponent is called the start color #11accd, start text, b, a, s, e, end text, end color #11accd. In this example, the base is start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, and the exponent is start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10.
Here's an example where the base is start color #11accd, 7, end color #11accd, and the exponent is start color #e07d10, 5, end color #e07d10:
start color #11accd, 7, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 5, end color #e07d10, end superscript
An exponent tells us to multiply the base by itself that number of times. In our example, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10, end superscript tells us to multiply the base of start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd by itself start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10 times:
start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10, end superscript, equals, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd
Once we write out the multiplication problem, we can easily evaluate the expression. Let's do this for the example we've been working with:
start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 3, end color #e07d10, end superscript, equals, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 4, end color #11accd
empty space, equals, 16, times, 4
empty space, equals, 64
The main reason we use exponents is because it's a shorter way to write out big numbers. For example, let's say we want to express the following:
start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd
That's really long to write. My hands hurt just from typing it! Instead we can see that start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd is multiplied by itself start color #e07d10, 6, end color #e07d10 times. This means we can write the same thing with start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd as the base and start color #e07d10, 6, end color #e07d10 as the exponent:
start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, times, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, equals, start color #11accd, 2, end color #11accd, start superscript, start color #e07d10, 6, end color #e07d10, end superscript
Cool, lets make sure we understand exponents by trying some practice problems.

## Practice set:

Problem 1A
• Current
Write 7, times, 7, times, 7 using an exponent.

## Challenge set:

Problem 2A
• Current
Complete the inequality with is greater than, comma, is less than, comma or equals.
2, start superscript, 5, end superscript
5, squared