# Equations with Exponents of Negative Numbers or Variables

In the Equations dialog box, if you use an equation that includes the exponent of a negative number, or the exponent of a negative global variable, you should use parentheses to guarantee correct results. For example, to solve the equation "c" = -3^2 the software first resolves the exponentiation operator (^), that is:

```
"c" = -3^2
= -(3^2)
= -(9)
```

Next, it resolves the unary negation operator (-):

```
"c" = (-3)^2
= 9
```

If a global variable has a negative value and you want to calculate an exponent, include parentheses around the global variable in the equation. For example, if you have a global variable "b" = -4, and you want an equation to calculate its square, use "c" = (b)^2. Then the equation is solved as:

```
"c" = (b)^2
= (-4)^2
= 16
```

**Parent topic**Equations