How can I write the following thing?

a^(b_c), b being a superscript of a, and c being a subscript of b.

  • 8
    try a^{b_c}, note { }, not ( )... Welcome to the group! – cmhughes May 21 '13 at 20:13
  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! You may have a look on our starter guide. – Henri Menke May 21 '13 at 20:13
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    If you have more questions like this, consider reading one of the books listed here: What is the best book to start learning LaTeX? – Henri Menke May 21 '13 at 20:17
  • do you mind if we close this as too localized? – cmhughes May 21 '13 at 20:47
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    @cmhughes Why should this be too localized? Easy (from the point of view of an experienced user) ≠ too localized. This may very well end up a very popular question. – doncherry May 21 '13 at 21:13

You can use


note that I have used {} instead of ().

Your question is perfectly reasonable- for further reading, you might like to look at What are good learning resources for a LaTeX beginner?


Note that the curly brackets {} are used in latex to set delimiters on the preceding operator (in this case ^). The variable size brackets enclose the text, although it's not clear from what you wrote if you want these in the final setting. An alternative is a^{b_c} or a^{b_{c}}, although the curly braces are implicit and not needed for a single expression. If you wanted, you could write: a^{b_{c^{d_e}}}, which would look weird, but be valid.

  • 1
    There is no reason to use \left ... \right here. Other than that, good explanation. – daleif Jan 26 '17 at 13:14

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