# How to write or read powers (math) by words? [duplicate]

What's the way to write or to read power (math) it in words?  ## marked as duplicate by Jasper, RubioRic, Chenmunka, Andrew, JMBJun 26 at 2:28

• FWIW, the operation is normally (AFAIK) called "exponentiation". – Solomon Ucko Jun 24 at 1:08

It is usual to say

"2 raised to the power 5"

or more concisely

"2 to the power 5"

"2 to the power of 5" is also acceptable, but not "2 powered by 5".

Amongst mathematicians "2 to the 5" is shorthand, "power of" being understood.
So you should say

"2 to the power 5 divided by 2 to the power 3"

and

"What is 4 to the power 3 equal to?"

• it may be worth pointing out whether "two to the 5" is spoken as "two to the five" or "two to the fifth". some languages, german is an example, do use the ordinal instead of the cardinal here. – dlatikay Jun 23 at 23:54
• It might also be worth pointing out that "squared" and "cubed" are commonly used for exponents of 2 and 3 respectively. – BenM Jun 24 at 0:52
• @dlatikay Maybe in German, but English mathematicians would interpret two to the fifth as 2 raised to the power one fifth (1/5) which is the fifth root of 2. something completely different. – Peter Jennings Jun 24 at 1:29
• @PeterJennings However, it's pretty common (at least in AmE) to use xto the nth power' instead of 'x raised to the power of n'. – Austin Hemmelgarn Jun 24 at 2:05
• I'll disagree with Peter Jennings on this- \$2^{5}\$ would commonly be read in English as "two to the fifth" or "two to the fifth power." You would read \$2^{(1/5}}\$ as "two to the one fifth" – Brian Borchers Jun 24 at 4:03