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.

  • 5
    They probably say "A equals B", since "equal" can also be used as a verb. Nov 12, 2015 at 9:16
  • 3
    I see. So the person who wrote "A equal B" makes a careless mistake, or perhaps refers to A as plural.
    – Panha
    Nov 12, 2015 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 ;-) Nov 12, 2015 at 15:50
  • You can of course write A = B, but you'd still pronounce = as equals if you read that expression aloud. Nov 12, 2015 at 19:54
  • @StephanBijzitter I like to console myself that way...
    – Panha
    Nov 15, 2015 at 2:51

1 Answer 1


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

A equals B.


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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