[Tex/LaTex] How to produce exponents with variables?

math-mode

I would like to do x^(2n), however, when I try to do it, it shows up as (x^2) * n, which is not what I want.

How do I do it the correct way?

Best Answer

You have to put the entire exponent in braces, treat it like the argument of any other LaTeX command. You can get away with (for example) x^2 as a shortcut if you have only one character in your exponent. Otherwise, you need to put the whole thing in { ... }.

So you need x^{2n} or x^{(2n)} if you want the parentheses.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}

\begin{document}

$x^{2n} \quad x^{(2n)}$

\end{document}

enter image description here

Personally, I always put braces around my exponents, because I find it more readable (though others may see it as clutter) and because it's a good habit to get into. It's easy to forget the braces when you do need them otherwise, and it's much more of a pain correcting x^n to x^{2n} than it is with x^{n}. I admit, though, it's a bit more cumbersome.