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Are both is equal to and equals similar in meaning? Which is the more natural?

For example, one plus one equals two or one plus one is equal to two.

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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Apr 27 '14 at 11:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You can also add "is" to the list. – Sᴋᴜʟʟ ᴘᴇᴛʀᴏʟ Sep 7 '12 at 9:38
@skullpatrol: I agree with the answers and comments that say that “equals” and “is equal to” mean the same thing in most situations; always, in strictly mathematical contexts. Based on my understanding of English, I submit that “is” carries a slightly different connotation and nuance. (“It depends on what the meaning of the word `is’ is.”) For example, Superman is Clark Kent, but I wouldn’t say that they are equal. – Scott Feb 12 '13 at 2:28
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Both are grammatically correct and mean the same. And both are the natural ways of saying it. Use either.

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Equals is equal being a verb, in the present tense. Is equal to is equal being a predicate adjective, with its auxiliary verb in the present tense. English is full of pairs like this, useful if one needs an extra syllable. As @Slkdfj Jfjf succinctly puts it, Use any. – John Lawler Jun 16 '12 at 16:18
@JohnLawler Could you please look at this question? – Sᴋᴜʟʟ ᴘᴇᴛʀᴏʟ Sep 7 '12 at 11:29

"1+3=4" may be read "one plus three equals four" or "one plus three is equal to four". Both are correct, and commonly heard.

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However, for "1+3 < 10" we can say "one plus three is less than ten" but not "one plus three lesses ten". – GEdgar Jun 16 '12 at 13:19
Re "one plus three equals four" or "one plus three is equal to four" being commonly heard, I'm fairly sure I've never heard anybody say either of those phrases, and doubt I ever will. Why would anyone bother stating such a trivial sum? – jwpat7 Jun 16 '12 at 18:42
Well, I guess we all have... back in school at least. And now on English Stack Exchange :) – Arman McHitarian Jul 13 at 8:57

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