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 adjective égal (which refers to the mathematical sign =) 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 Forum 8 questions, 18 answers

MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

liason with égal and égale?

I noticed that the recording of "deux plus deux égal quatre" has no liason after the second deux but "deux plus deux égale quatre" does. Is it just a coincidence or is there a difference because of égal/égale?  I find it difficult to know when to use liason before a vowel and when not to and can't find anything that really explains it.



Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Melisa, 

Indeed the liaison is made in the second case but not the first.

You can say both but personally I wouldn't make the liaison!

Melisa asked:View original

liason with égal and égale?

I noticed that the recording of "deux plus deux égal quatre" has no liason after the second deux but "deux plus deux égale quatre" does. Is it just a coincidence or is there a difference because of égal/égale?  I find it difficult to know when to use liason before a vowel and when not to and can't find anything that really explains it.



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ElizabethA2Kwiziq community member

Égal vs Égale

Hello, Thank you for clarifying the difference between Égal vs Égale. 

So does this mean égal is only used as a symbol?

I see above both used in a sentence. e.g. Deux plus deux égale / égal quatre. 

Thank you to clarify.

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Elizabeth,

Yes indeed 'égal' is also the 'equals'  (= ) sign,  in French.

Hope this helps!

 

Égal vs Égale

Hello, Thank you for clarifying the difference between Égal vs Égale. 

So does this mean égal is only used as a symbol?

I see above both used in a sentence. e.g. Deux plus deux égale / égal quatre. 

Thank you to clarify.

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StevenC1Kwiziq community member

une fois deux / un multiplié par deux

How do you know when to use un rather than une of vice versa? 
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Well, since fois is a female noun it is une fois. For all other cases you use the male form.

une fois deux / un multiplié par deux

How do you know when to use un rather than une of vice versa? 

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SusanC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

 

Susan asked:View original

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

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DaveB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Quiz is still missing...doh

Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member

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.

DaveB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
All good now :)

Quiz is still missing...doh

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BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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...).
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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.
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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.".
BonnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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!
ReginaB1Kwiziq community member

When I was taking French in high school thirty years ago, "et" was acceptable.

ReginaB1Kwiziq community member

Forgot to mention, too, that when I lived in France for several months in the '90s, either worked, and I heard French people use both.

ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I'm wondering the same thing.  One of my textbooks doesn't even offer the "plus" option... just "deux et deux font quatre."

ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I'm wondering the same thing.  One of my textbooks doesn't even offer the "plus" option... just "deux et deux font quatre."

ChrisB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

double post, please delete this

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...).

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Susan C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !

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

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JohnB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

égal (à)

Is there any case where à is needed? Or is this just a matter of preference? Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
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.
MenalA0Kwiziq community member

bonjur

égal (à)

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

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