When I want to square -6, why does my calculator say it's -36, when I know it is positive 36?

If you want to square -6 on a calculator, you have to place parentheses around the -6, otherwise your calculator is doing just what you tell it to, and taking the negative of six squared.

-6²

= - (6)(6) {this only shows the 6 is squared, not the negative sign also}

= -36 {took the negative of 6 times 6}

(-6)²

= (-6)(-6) {this shows the negative 6 is being squared}

= 36 {multiplied -6 by -6)

Your calculator doesn't make mistakes, it's how you enter the information that needs to be corrected when evaluating exponents.

__For example:__-6²

= - (6)(6) {this only shows the 6 is squared, not the negative sign also}

= -36 {took the negative of 6 times 6}

(-6)²

= (-6)(-6) {this shows the negative 6 is being squared}

= 36 {multiplied -6 by -6)

Your calculator doesn't make mistakes, it's how you enter the information that needs to be corrected when evaluating exponents.

*- Algebra House*