Equals or equal to


The average value of h-d observations per plot was equal to  27.


I am not sure which one is better: A equals B; A equals to B; A was equal to B; Many equal 10; Many equal to 10; Many were equal to 10.  

grammar asked Jan 13 '13 at 23:43 Teresa Fonseca New member

3 answers


First, let's correct your usage. When "equal" is used as a verb, it is never followed by a preposition.


A equals B -- correct, equals is a verb here.

A equals to B -- incorrect, equals is a verb here and should not be followed by a preposition

A was equal to B -- correct, equal is an adjective here.

Many equal 10 -- correct, equal is a verb here

Many equal to 10 -- incorrect, equal is a verb here and should not be followed by a preposition.

Many were equal to 10 -- correct, equal is an adjective here.


Which is "better"? Generally, active verbs are considered more interesting, and active sentences are preferred to passive sentences. There is, however, no hard and fast rule -- the choice is considered a matter of style.


A equals B -- active.

A was equal to B -- passive.

Many equal 10 --active.

Many were equal to 10 -- passive.


I hope this helps.

link answered Jan 14 '13 at 01:46 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Thank you very much for the explanation!

Teresa FonsecaJan 14 '13 at 23:55

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Thank you both, the questioner and answerer!

link comment answered Nov 15 '15 at 14:06 Gaurav Chandarana New member

So, if you aren't talking just about math, but something like this:


"Company X bills a standard administrative charge equal to six percent for each project."


You WOULD use a "to" here because "equal" is an adjective modifying "charge"?

link comment answered Nov 29 '16 at 18:33 cAL New member

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