“Is Equal To” vs. “Equals”: Correct Version Revealed (With Examples)

Marcus Froland

Many people learning English often mix up the phrases “is equal to” and “equals.” It’s easy to see why. Both seem to do the same job in a sentence, right? Actually, there’s a right time and place for each. Knowing which one to use can make your English sound more natural and correct.

In this article, we’re going to clear up the confusion. We’ll look at some examples that show exactly how and when to use each phrase. It’s not as hard as it might seem, and by the end, you’ll be able to use “is equal to” and “equals” like a pro. Let’s get this sorted out once and for all.

Many English learners wonder about the difference between “is equal to” and “equals”. Both phrases mean the same thing. They are used to say that two things are the same in amount or value. However, their use depends on the sentence structure.

Use “is equal to” when you need a verb phrase. For example, “The total cost is equal to $50.” Here, “is equal to” links the subject with its value.

On the other hand, use “equals” as a single verb. For example, “Two plus two equals four.” In this sentence, “equals” directly shows the result.

Both forms are correct, but choosing between them depends on how you structure your sentence. Remember, “is equal to” fits better in sentences needing a linking verb, while “equals” works well when directly showing a result or outcome.

Understanding “Is Equal To” and “Equals” in English Language

In the English language, “is equal to” and “equals” serve as verbal expressions of the equal sign in mathematics, suggesting that two values are the same. They are employed both verbally and in writing to communicate equivalency in various contexts. The Cambridge Dictionary defines “equal” as being the same in value, amount, or quantity, indicating that these terms are synonymous and correct in grammar when functioning as verbs.

To further explore the usage of these expressions, let’s examine their roles in English language grammar and mathematical expressions. In written and verbal communication, “is equal to” and “equals” play a vital part in expressing the equality of values, amounts, and quantities. For instance:

  • Two plus three equals five.
  • The distance from New York to Boston is equal to 215 miles.

Regardless of the chosen expression, both phrases deliver the same meaning without impacting grammatical correctness.

“In mathematics, the equal sign (=) is employed to indicate equivalence between two expressions, establishing a relationship of sameness in value, amount, or quantity.”

Understanding the nuances of “is equal to” and “equals” is essential for conveying your ideas in an accurate and grammatically correct manner. Both phrases can enhance the clarity and precision of your mathematical and general communication. By mastering these expressions, you can ensure that your message is well-received and understood by your audience.

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Decoding the Usage: Mathematical and Everyday Contexts

In both mathematics and everyday conversations, we use the terms “equal to” and “equals” to indicate that two values or quantities are the same. This section will provide examples and explore the linguistic nuances of these expressions in various situations.

Instances in Mathematics

The foundation of mathematical equality lies in the equal sign (=), which represents numerical equivalence between two algebraic expressions. The proper understanding and interpretation of the equal sign as relational are essential for solving equations and developing algebraic thinking. To facilitate this understanding, learners are often exposed to different equation types, such as nonstandard equations like 6 + 4 = ___ + 8. This approach helps in promoting a relational, rather than operational, understanding of the equal sign.

“Equal to” in Everyday Conversations

In daily communication, “equal to” is often used in a broader context beyond mathematics to compare physical aspects like weight and size or abstract concepts such as value or importance. Here are some example comparisons using “equal to” in everyday language:

  1. The weight of an elephant is equal to the combined weight of several cars.
  2. The caloric content of this salad is equal to that of a small burger.
  3. The value of mutual respect is equal to that of trust in a relationship.

The Nuances of Using “Equals” in Various Scenarios

The term “equals” is more versatile and may appear in different scenarios within everyday language. In addition to its common use in mathematics or comparisons of quantities, it can also be used to quantify costs, exemplified in statements like “The bill equals thirty-three dollars plus tip.” It is important, however, to grasp the contextual usage of equals to ensure that the expression is appropriate for a particular situation.

As you can see, the terms “equal to” and “equals” are vital in expressing mathematical equality and comparison expressions in various contexts. By understanding the linguistic nuances, you can communicate effectively and accurately in both mathematical and everyday situations.

Popularity and Formality: Which Phrase Do People Prefer?

When it comes to choosing between “is equal to” and “equals,” there doesn’t seem to be a definitive consensus regarding their formality. Some individuals might perceive “is equal to” as a more formal expression, while others might view “equals” as less formal. However, empirical evidence has not conclusively demonstrated that one expression is more formal than the other.

Interestingly, language trends and phrase popularity reveal that “equals” has become marginally more popular over the years. However, the gap in usage between these two expressions is minimal, indicating that the preference is often based on personal choice. Many speakers and writers continue to use both phrases effectively to express mathematical equality and other equivalent values.

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Whether or not an expression sounds more formal or less formal can be influenced by various factors, such as regional dialects, educational backgrounds, or the preference of a specific community. Ultimately, the choice between “is equal to” and “equals” is subjective, and both expressions have their appropriate time and place, depending on the context and audience.

It’s essential to consider the different factors that can influence the perception of formality, and the importance of adapting your language depending on the context. When in doubt, listen to those around you and observe which phrase is more commonly used in your environment to make an informed decision for your specific needs.

Practical Examples: “Is Equal To” and “Equals” in Action

Understanding how to use “is equal to” and “equals” accurately in real-life scenarios can improve your language skills and ensure effective communication. Let’s explore some practical examples to see these expressions in action.

In the context of mathematics, both expressions can be used to relate numerical values or mathematical equations:

  • Three multiplied by two equals six.
  • Seven minus two is equal to five.

These phrases can also be applied to demonstrate equivalence in non-mathematical scenarios:

  1. The price of this coat equals fifty dollars.
  2. The knowledge gained from this course is equal to six months of field experience.

“The weight of this sugar is equal to our new puppy,” or “Four times four equals sixteen.”

As seen in these examples, “is equal to” and “equals” effectively convey the same idea across various contexts. Choosing between the two expressions often depends on personal preference or the specific language application at hand.

being familiar with the practical usage of “is equal to” and “equals” in real-world examples allows for more accurate and effective communication. Whether you’re applying these expressions in mathematical equations or everyday language, the choice between “is equal to” and “equals” often rests on your preferred style or the context in which they’re used.

Mistakes to Avoid: Common Misuses of “Equal” Phrases

As you aim to express equality in various contexts, it’s essential to be mindful of common grammatical errors and incorrect expressions. One specific mistake to avoid is the use of “is equals to,” which is an improper combination of the verbal form “is” and “equals.” Remember to stick to the correct forms: “is equal to” or just “equals.”

Another important aspect to consider is singular vs plural and grammatical number agreement when choosing between “is equal to” and “are equal to.” Use “is equal to” for singular subjects and “are equal to” for plural subjects to maintain grammatical accuracy in your communication.

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Finally, take the time to clarify the semantic differences between similar terms. Although “same” and “equal” are often used interchangeably, they possess distinct meanings. “Same” implies that two or more items are identical, whereas “equal” typically refers to the idea that two or more items have a combined total that matches another value. Keep these vocabulary clarifications in mind as you navigate the intricate world of language and grammar.

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