11

Equal is an Adj. However, I frequently hear people say or write A equal B as a complete sentence, instead of A is equal to B. For instance,

As a result, A equal B.

  • 4
    They probably say "A equals B", since "equal" can also be used as a verb. – CowperKettle Nov 12 '15 at 9:16
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    I see. So the person who wrote "A equal B" makes a careless mistake, or perhaps refers to A as plural. – Panha Nov 12 '15 at 10:08
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    Ooooh, I like how you thought of A possibly being plural! But I doubt that's the case ;-) – Stephan Bijzitter Nov 12 '15 at 15:50
  • You can of course write A = B, but you'd still pronounce = as equals if you read that expression aloud. – Kyle Strand Nov 12 '15 at 19:54
  • @StephanBijzitter I like to console myself that way... – Panha Nov 15 '15 at 2:51
14

Equal can be used as both a verb and an adjective here. Two sentences can then be used:

A equals B.

-or-

A is equal to B.

There is a subtle usage rule when using the verb form, that the verb tends to be used more for mathematical equivalence. The adjective form (or even the noun) of equal can also be used to mark equality more broadly, e.g. social status or competence.

So, we could say "a woman is equal to a man" but never that "a woman equals a man". We could even use it like a noun and say "Alice is Bob's equal" if she is as good as him at something or as well respected.

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