Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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.

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

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.

share|improve this answer
add comment

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"

share|improve this answer
add comment

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

share|improve this answer
add comment

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?"

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.