Doing arithmetic (numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)

Look at these examples:

deux plus deux égal quatre
two plus two equals four

six moins un égal cinq
six minus one equals five

une fois deux  /  un multiplié par deux
one times two

trente divisé par dix égal trois
thirty divided by ten equals three

Additions and subtractions

We use plus (plus) and moins (minus), and then égal (equal).

Note that in French we usually use the noun égal (like the symbol =) in these phrases.
You can also use the verb égaler (to equal) or even faire:

Deux plus deux égale quatre.
Two plus two equals four.


Deux plus deux font quatre.
Two plus two makes four.

Note that the preferred form for égaler (Académie Française...) is the singular égale, where we'll use the plural font for faire.

Multiplications

We can use fois (times) or multiplié par (multiplied by).

Divisions

We use divisé par (divided by).

 

Examples and resources

Deux plus deux égale quatre.
Two plus two equals four.


Deux plus deux font quatre.
Two plus two makes four.


additions


deux plus deux égal quatre
two plus two equals four


divisions


trente divisé par dix égal trois
thirty divided by ten equals three


multiplications


une fois deux  /  un multiplié par deux
one times two


substractions


six moins un égal cinq
six minus one equals five


Q&A

Susan

Kwiziq community member

23 July 2018

1 reply

When is it "egale" and when is it "egal"? When the items being counted are feminine? What about just numbers?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

24 July 2018

24/07/18

Hi Susan,


'Égal' is a masculine noun and means the sign,     =


Égale is from the verb égaler and it also means 'equals' , it is just an ER verb ending.


Just the two ways of saying 'equals' in French.


Hope this helps!


 

dave

Kwiziq community member

22 March 2018

2 replies

Quiz is still missing...doh

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

14 April 2018

14/04/18

The microkwiz for this lesson is working now. Thanks for letting us know. 


Note: it's still best to add topics to your notebook and kwiz against that repeatedly if you want to test all the available questions for a topic.

dave

Kwiziq community member

7 July 2018

7/07/18

All good now :)

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...).

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!

Susan

Kwiziq community member

30 March 2017

1 reply

Deux plus deux égale quatre/deux plus deux égalent quatre: are both correct?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

31 March 2017

31/03/17

Bonjour Susan !

Actually I did a bit of research, and the version recommended by the Académie Française, the Littré dictionary and other reliable sources is« Deux multiplié par cinq *égale* dix. » (rather than « … égalent …»).
Thanks to you, I've now updated the lesson accordingly.

Merci et à bientôt !

John

Kwiziq community member

3 August 2016

2 replies

égal (à)

Is there any case where à is needed? Or is this just a matter of preference? Thanks.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

4 August 2016

4/08/16

Bonjour J,

When égaler means "to equal" you don't need à.

When it means "to compare/rank" you do:

Ce roman n'égale pas à Madame Bovary.

Menal

Kwiziq community member

11 August 2018

11/08/18

bonjur


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