My original question was poorly constructed and has led to some exasperation. I apologize, and here try to clarify my original dilemma.

Without LaTex, how do I express the Radical Sign?

My problem is: I have an open parenthesis... "3x"... then a Radical Sign with "4y" as a Radicand... close parenthesis... ^2

When I simplify this, the answer is: 36x^2y which I have a problem with for reasons following: I don't understand how the ^2 in the original term relates to the 36x because:

Take the following (from my book) for an example: (-2)^4 & -2^4 In the first term, (-2) is raised to the 4th power. In the second term, the rule says: "Without the parentheses, the exponent 4 applies only to the base 2, not to the minus sign."

Simplifying the original (above) I get: 3x^2 * 4y No Radical and no Parentheses. Without the parentheses, the exponent ^2 should apply only to the x. According to the rule, the 3 is not to be squared.... so how does the 36 get into the answer when the 3 is never squared and multiplied by 4?

Thank you. John

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