*Equal* or *Equal To*: Which One Is Correct?

The word ** equal** can function as a verb or an adjective. When it is used as a verb, we do not add

**after it. It takes a direct object:**

*to*✅ *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 number on the left equals the number on the right.*

❌

*The number on the left*

**equals**~~to~~the number on the right.✅ *The rent equalled two-thirds of his monthly salary.*

❌

*The rent*

**equalled**~~to~~two-thirds of his monthly salary.We use ** equal to** only when

**is used as an adjective:**

*equal*✅ *Eight times nine is equal to seventy-two.*

✅ *Six plus four is equal to ten.*

✅ *The number on the left is equal to the number on the right.*

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

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## 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)

## Practice

Read each sentence carefully and fill in the blank with either ** equal** or

**. Remember, you may need to change the form of the word**

*equal to***to fit the sentence correctly.**

*equal*1. The sum of five and three ________ eight.

2. The two sides of the triangle are not ________ in length.

3. The cost of the new car is ________ my entire year's salary.

4. The length of the rectangle ________ the width.

5. Career success does not ________ happiness.

## Answer Key

1. equals 2. equal 3. equal to 4. equals 5. equal

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