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I have a small question about exponents: when we write a^x (i will write it this way but i talk about the traditional notation) this means that the base is only a? I mean that if we have ba^x or -a^x then then these are equal to b(a^x) and -(a^x) ? These are also because of the order of operations? Generally if we want a "whole expression" to be raised in a power then we have to write it in a parentheses? So for example -2^2=-4 but (-2)^2=4 ?

So we calculate this exponent and then do multiplications, divisions etc..?

Thanks