“Is Equal To” Vs. “Equals” – Correct Version Revealed (With Examples)

Marcus Froland

Are you confused about when to use ‘is equal to’ versus ‘equals’?

You’re not alone. Many people struggle with the proper usage of these two words.

Fortunately, this article will clear up any confusion and provide examples so you can master the difference between ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’.

Read on for simple rules and tips that’ll help you remember which one to use!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Is equal to’ and ‘equals’ have distinct meanings.
  • Both phrases are grammatically correct and can be used interchangeably.
  • The correct version depends on the situation and personal preference.
  • Use ‘is equal to’ when comparing identical items and ‘equals’ when describing calculations with answers.

The Difference Between ‘Is Equal To’ and ‘Equals’

You need to understand the difference between ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’; they are not interchangeable.

‘Is equal to’ is a phrase used in mathematics and logic that implies two things have the same value or quantity. For example, if you were trying to solve a math equation, 4+4=8, you would say ‘four plus four is equal to eight.’

The phrase ‘equals’, on the other hand, is an abbreviation of the phrase ‘is equal to’. It can be used in both math equations and everyday language as a means of comparison. For instance, when comparing apples and oranges you would say ‘apples equals oranges.’

Both phrases mean the same thing but should be used in different contexts.

Common Misconceptions About the Correct Version

Y’all may think that there’s just one way to say this phrase, but there are actually some misconceptions about it.

Many people believe that ‘is equal to’ is the only correct version, while others are more comfortable using ‘equals’. However, both forms can be used interchangeably and both are considered grammatically correct.

Another misconception is that you can only use one form or the other at any given time; this isn’t true either. You can freely switch back and forth between ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’ without breaking any rules of grammar.

Examples of Correct Usage of ‘Is Equal To’ Vs. ‘Equals’

Comparing the usage of ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’ can be confusing, but the proper way to use them depends on context.

To illustrate this point, let’s look at a few examples. If you’re discussing math, use ‘is equal to’ instead of ‘equals,’ such as ‘two plus two is equal to four.’

If you’re discussing a comparison between two things, like ‘my car is the same color as yours,’ then you should use ‘equals’ in place of ‘is equal to.’

Similarly, when writing code or a mathematical formula, always use “equals” rather than “is equal to.”

It’s important to remember that both phrases are correct in certain contexts but incorrect in others.

The Rules for Using ‘Is Equal To’ and ‘Equals’ in Different Situations

Knowing when to use ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’ in different situations can be tricky, but it’s important to understand the rules.

Generally speaking, ‘equals’ is used for basic mathematical equations while ‘is equal to’ is used when comparing two items that are similar. For example, if you were comparing a cat and dog, you would say ‘A cat is equal to a dog’ rather than ‘A cat equals a dog’.

Likewise, if you were doing math then you’d write something like ‘2+2=4’ rather than ‘2+2 is equal to 4’. This rule applies for all things that can be compared or quantified such as measurements, time, money, etc.

Remembering this simple rule will ensure that your writing remains accurate and precise.

Tips for Remembering the Difference Between ‘Is Equal To’ and ‘Equals’

Remembering the difference between ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’ may seem difficult, but there are some helpful tips you can follow.

  • Use ‘is equal to’ when comparing two items that are exactly the same. For example, ‘2 + 2 is equal to 4.’

  • Use ‘equals’ when describing a calculation with an answer. For example, ‘2 + 2 equals 4.’

  • Pay attention to context. If the sentence or phrase does not make sense using one or the other, try switching them out and see what works best.


You now know the difference between ‘is equal to’ and ‘equals’, as well as common misconceptions about their use.

You also have examples and rules for using them in different situations, so you can always be sure that your writing is accurate and precise.

Remember: when talking about two things being exactly the same, use ‘is equal to’; if you’re trying to say that something is true, use ‘equals’.

Keep this in mind and you’ll never make a mistake with these two words again!