When i'm reading specification of gif-89a in here


To determine that actual size of the color table, raise 2 to [the value of the field + 1].


Don't mind what was of article above.

I stupidly thought the word raise means plus, and i learned a lesson.

Then i checking that phrase "raise to" on google, i'm getting more confused. there are more than one usage:

  • raise number to number

  • number raised to number


raise 2 to 3

2 raised to 3

Can somebody help me figure out?

  • Although you have found other occurrences, have you looked up the meaning in a dictionary? See Lexico sense 2.2, for example.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 6:37
  • @AndrewLeach I checked dictionary before post this question. raise 2 to 3 2 raised to 3 are these two phrase samething. i.e 3^2 Commented May 21, 2020 at 7:00
  • Well, Lexico implies the answer there. 3 raised to 7 = 2187. 7^3 is not 2187; 3x3x3x3x3x3x3 is 2187.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


In a mathematical context, "to raise" means to apply the function f(x,y) = xy.

The subject of this verb is the number to be used as the base (x) and it is typically followed by a prepositional phrase defining the exponent (y).

The two examples you provided both imply that 2 is raised to the power of 3, i.e. 23. There is a slight difference in meaning between the two examples, but it is trivial in mathematical context. The first sentence is an instruction for the reader to raise, while the second sentence informs the reader that raising has occurred. In practical usage, they carry the same meaning. Often, the phrase is expanded to read "raise 2 to the power of 3," to eliminate confusion regarding which number is intended to be the base and which is intended to be the power.

  • I have edited your question to use superscripts, and to remove the request. You turn something into a superscript in this way: 2<sup>3</sup>. (Note that it doesn't work in comments, only in actual posts.) Commented May 21, 2020 at 13:20
  • You could point out expressly that OP's 'raise 2 to 3' and '2 raised to 3' are not acceptable. Though I have heard 'two to the third'. Commented May 21, 2020 at 14:03
  • @JasonBassford Much appreciate it. that was exactly answer what i wanted. from a non-english-native-speaker :) Commented May 22, 2020 at 1:51
  • @EdwinAshworth I've heard both, and, while you might not, I certainly consider them both to be acceptable. They might not be as common as other variations, but they're quite understandable, and there's nothing at all asyntactic about them. But, that aside, the more common phrasing is given in the answer. Commented May 22, 2020 at 2:08

It means "raise to the power of". For example, 2n+1.

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