The thing we are finding the root of. The expression inside the radical sign.

The horizontal bar in the radical sign tells how much of the expression is the radicand. In this expression: the bar stretches across the whole expression p - q. So this means we subtract q from p, then find the square root of the result. The whole expression "p-q" is the radicand.

If it has only covered the 'p' like this: it would mean find the square root of p then subtract q from the result. Only "p" is the radicand.

The bar acts like parentheses, telling you how to group items and the order of calculation.

Other exponents and roots topics