# Something on the right of a radical

A square root is often shown with a radical symbol: $$\sqrt{x}$$. The top line is drawn as wide as it needs to be to cover the whole radicand:

$\sqrt{x^2 + 2x + 1}$

But it can be easy to misinterpret an expression where there's something on the right of the radical:

$\sqrt{x^2 + 2x + 1}a$

This is particularly problematic in handwriting.

The usual way of resolving this is to put the other thing on the left instead:

$a\sqrt{x^2+2x+1}$

However, when the radical contains a single letter or number, it's more common to put the radical on the left:

$\sqrt{2} \sin x$