# Trigonometric Functions

#### xyz_1965

##### Member
Is tan^2 (x) the same as tan(x)^2?

Note: I could have used any trig function.

I know that tan^2 (x) means (tan x)^2.
What does tan (x)^2 mean? Is it proper notation?

#### MarkFL

Staff member
I don't consider $$\displaystyle \tan(x)^2$$ to be proper notation. It is unclear whether the argument or the function is being squared.

#### xyz_1965

##### Member
I don't consider $$\displaystyle \tan(x)^2$$ to be proper notation. It is unclear whether the argument or the function is being squared.
I concur.

#### skeeter

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
$\tan(x)^2$ is an acceptable form of syntax for $\tan^2{x}$ used in many calculators.

#### topsquark

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Personally I would like to see $$\displaystyle tan(x)^2 = tan(x) \cdot tan(x)$$. My problem isn't with the 2 but with a -1. $$\displaystyle f^{-1}(x)$$ may be equally considered to be $$\displaystyle \dfrac{1}{f(x)}$$ or the inverse function of f(x).

So long as the parenthesis are included in $$\displaystyle tan(x)^2$$ I have no problem with the expression.

-Dan