Exponents are a shorthand way of telling us that a number is multiplied by itself.

The *number* that is multiplied by itself is called the **base**. The base is the larger number on the left.The smaller number on the right tells us

*how many times*the number is multiplied by itself. It is called the

**exponent**, or

**power**.

We will usually read it as (base) **to the power of** (exponent), **OR** (base) **to the** (exponent) **power**.

For example, in the expression $4^3$

**4** is the **base**, while **3** is the **exponent**.

The exponent tells us the number of times the base is to be multiplied by itself.

In our example, **4** (the base) is multiplied by itself **3 times** (the exponent): $4\times4\times4$

We can call this **4 to the power of 3,** or **4 to the third power.**

**Extra:** Since the **second** and **third** powers are so common, we have special, short names for them - **squared** and **cubed.**

$4^2$ can be called simply **4 squared.**

$4^3$ can be called simply **4 cubed.**

Want to learn more? Check out our videos, examples and exercises on this topic!