'Equal Something' or 'Equal to Something'? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 17 February 2023)

Equal or Equal To: Which One Is Correct?

The word equal can be a verb or an adjective. When it is used as a verb, we do not add to after it. It takes a direct object:

Eight times nine equals seventy-two. (8 × 9 = 72)
Eight times nine equals to seventy-two.

Six plus four equals ten. (6 + 4 = 10)
Six plus four equals to ten.

The rent equalled two-thirds of his monthly salary.
The rent equalled to two-thirds of his monthly salary.

We say equal to only when equal is used as an adjective:

Eight times nine is equal to seventy-two.

Six plus four is equal to ten.

The rent was equal to two-thirds of his monthly salary.

Examples from the Media

The UK Passport Office issued more than 200,000 British National (Overseas), or BN(O), passports to Hongkongers in the first 10 months of the year, a rate that roughly equalled five every minute, according to Bloomberg News, which got the data from the UK Passport Office with a Freedom of Information Act request. South China Morning Post (2020)

The impact of humans on the environment is an equation: individual consumption times population equals total consumption. —The Sydney Morning Herald (2019)

The humble recorder is equal to any other instrument. The Guardian (2022)

The distance of the northern road link is equal to driving from Toronto to Montreal, said Greg Rickford, minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. —Toronto Star (2022)

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