"times" is the preposition equivalent to "multiplied by". what is the preposition equivalent to "divided by"?

  • 1
    In Two times two equals four, it's not a "preposition". OED defines the usage as a verb - trans. Math. colloq. To multiply (a number). Oct 20 '15 at 16:30
  • @FumbleFingers: is the definition as a verb the only definition? I doubt it. It seems to me like a non-standard reanalysis, similar to using "verse" as a verb derived from the preposition "versus." As for the part of speech in standard language, I'd guess it originally derived from the noun "times," but it may very well have become a preposition--to test this, we could check if "one times x" or "one time x" is more common.
    – herisson
    Oct 20 '15 at 18:28
  • @sumelic: OED confirms times does indeed derive from the pluralised noun, but they only list it as a verb (with citations featuring timesed and timesing). They have a separate entry for the other (capitalized) adjectival usage Times attrib. Designating typefaces originally designed for use in The Times. Chiefly in Times New Roman, Times Roman, of which they say Also as noun: a typeface of this kind. No other parts of speech are mentioned in either entry. I've never encountered one time x in that context (only "one-time" = "former, ex-"). Oct 20 '15 at 18:48
  • @FumbleFingers: weird! For me, it's definitely not always a verb; I could say "what is it times?" to mean "What is it multiplied by?" (and I'd never say "what does it time?).
    – herisson
    Oct 20 '15 at 19:57
  • @sumelic: If I were forced to rephrase What is it multiplied by?, I think I'd have to go for What is it timesed by? Your version sounds decidedly weird to me - would you also accept What is it divided? for the "reciprocal" version? Oct 20 '15 at 20:45

The equivalent would be 'over'.

100/50=2 can be reasonably stated as one hundred over fifty equals two.


You can use "into," as in "One hundred into fifty is two."

  • 3
    That's backwards, unfortunately. Fifty into one hundred is two; fifty goes into one hundred twice. Oct 20 '15 at 18:24
  • What @John said. But see Divide two into four and Divide two by four Oct 20 '15 at 18:52
  • Oops; knew the order, typed too quickly. Thanks for the clarification. Oct 21 '15 at 19:02
  • @DanielNelson, there should be an "edit" option under your answer, so that you can go back and fix it up. :-)
    – Hellion
    Oct 21 '15 at 20:41

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