Does one ever use "Deux et deux font quatre" or "Deux et deux égal/égale quatre"?

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

6 October 2017

4 replies

Does one ever use "Deux et deux font quatre" or "Deux et deux égal/égale quatre"?

I'm just wondering if "et" is used rather than "plus", or if that's an outmoded thing (or if the book I have is totally wrong...).

This relates to:
Doing arithmetic (numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) -

Ron

Kwiziq community member

7 October 2017

7/10/17

Bonsoir Bonnie,
In fact, I have several different textbooks and each one uses «deux PLUS deux font or egal» in their respective sections discussing math. In keeping with the math terms, i.e. moins, divisé, fois; it makes sense to use plus and not «et».

Bonne soirée.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Ron's right. It is the same in English. You would rather say "2 plus 2 makes/equals four" and not "2 and 2 makes/equals four". In short: use "plus" and not "et". The latter is reserved for enumerations.

-- Chris.

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

17 October 2017

17/10/17

Merci. But here's something from ThoughtCo.com that adds to my confusion.

by Laura K. Lawless
Updated March 04, 2017
Whether you're teaching math operations in French class, planning to study math in a French school, or just interested in knowing French vocabulary from a new domain, this list of French math ​vocabulary will help you on your way.
....
FOR EXAMPLE:
More formal Less formal Familiar
2+2=4 2 plus 2 égale 4 2 et 2 font 4 2 et 2, ça fait 4
2-2=0 2 moins 2 égale 0 2 moins 2 font 0 2 moins 2, ça fait 0
2×2=4 2 multiplié par 2 égale 4 2 fois 2 font 4 2 fois 2, ça fait 4
2÷2=1 2 divisé par 2 égale 1 2 divisé par 2 font 1 2 sur 2, ça fait 1

This was written by Laura Lawless (who is also employed by kwiziq.com, I believe) who is one of my favorite authorities on French language and culture. The Bon Voyage! textbook that is used by my school actually teaches "Deux plus deux, ça fait quatre." which according to the usage chart done by Ms. Lawless is a mixture of the most formal and least formal (familiar).

And Claus, I would add that in American English "One and one is two." is used. "Two and two are/equal(s)/make four." Etc. There was even a song ("Don't Know Much About History") in the mid-late 1960s that used a line something like "But I know that one and one is two, And if this one could be with you, What a wonderful world it would be.".

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

18 October 2017

18/10/17

I apologize that the formatting I copied from ThoughtCo.com and then tried to insert correct spaces into did not transfer into my reply above. I hope that you can see where the "columns" would be or make sense of it!

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