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How do American/British primary school teachers ask their pupils to calculate an expression? E.g.

  • What is 2+3 equal to?
  • What is the value of 2+3?
  • ...

In particular, I'm interested whether the first form ("equal to") would ever be used in a primary school.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

As a third grade teacher in the US (in the 1970s), I variably would asked

What is 2 + 3?
How much is 2 + 3?
Add 2 + 3. How much?
2 + 3 is what?
What does 2 + 3 equal?
2 + 3 equals what?

I probably tended toward the more colloquial, but the term equal was definitely part of the vocabulary.

SUPPLEMENT: Formulas were also routinely used on the chalkboard and on worksheets

2 + 3 = 5

When read by the students, the = sign was almost always referred to as equals not is.

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When I was at school (certainly at primary school) the question would be asked, "What is two plus three?", however, teaching methods have certainly changed since then. That said, the teacher/pupil may very well answer "two plus three equals five" as well as "two plus three is five"

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I think my teachers mostly said, "What is two plus three?", "How many is two plus three?", or "What does two plus three equal?"

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My teachers mostly said, "What is two plus three?"

All the other suggestions are possible, but this one, in my humble opinion, is the most common.

Also a bald "2 plus 3?" or "six eights?"

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