### Mathematical English: Powers

Non-native speakers often struggle when they have to speak about powers. For example, the correct expression used for is **ten to the power of three**, although it is common to instead use the shorter form **ten to the three**. Similarly, is **x to the (power of) seven**. The exponents 2 and 3 (can you think of other examples?) have special names: is **x squared**, is **x cubed**. A confusing yet common mistake is to say **ten to three** (which refers to the time of day 2:50) instead of **ten to the three**. If the exponent is negative, for example , the correct expression is **10 to the (power of) minus three**, but not **10 to the (power of) negative three**. Finally, the correct form for is either **exponential function of x** or, much shorter, **e to the (power of) x**.