rule
For all numbers x (not zero) and all integers m and n,
ruledivide
rule2pic

When you divide,
and the bases are the same,
you SUBTRACT the exponents.
(top exponent minus bottom exponent)

When in doubt, expand the terms (as shown at the right) to see what is happening.

ruledivide2

ruleDgreen

Examples:

1.  dm1
The bases are the same (both 2's), so the exponents are subtracted.
2.  dm2
The bases are the same (all a 's), so the exponents are subtracted. Notice how the numbers in front of the bases (6 and 1) are being divided.

3.  dm3
The bases are the same (all x's), so the exponents are subtracted.
The numbers in front of the bases are divided.

4. dm4 
Remember: top exponent minus bottom exponent.
Remember: raising to a 0 power creates a 1.

 

divider

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