I wonder if we can say "two to the three" to indicate 2 to the 3rd power.

Here are my attempts to search on Google for it:

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And "two to the third" seems also OK:

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Which one do you usually use?

  • If you Googled it in quotes ("two to the three"), you'd find significantly fewer results. Most of what I found was links to a song lyric, plus one link to this question. – J.R. May 3 '19 at 15:34

There are three ways to express your phrase:

  1. Two to the third power.

  2. Two to the third.

  3. Two to the power three.

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I would always describe that in words as

2 to the 3rd (power)


2 cubed.

I would never say

Two to the Three

although I might say

Two to the power of three.

And as a person who majored in physics in college, and has been a software developer for several decades, I have had occasion to discuss raising number to powers many many times. I have never heard a native speaker who knows math say "Two to the three". When the exponent is not a whole number and does not nicely form an ordinal (like first, second, third, fourth) I would say

Two to the power of four point three


E to the X


E to the power of X

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