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### Course: Early math review > Unit 4

Lesson 3: Equal sign# Equal sign

Learn what the equals sign means.

## Want to join the conversation?

- What does = mean with a line over it?(6 votes)
- I believe you are referring to the ≠ symbol, which means "not equal."

For example, I could write 2 + 3 ≠ 4.(7 votes)

- I have noticed that any math problem I do, will most likely always have an equal sign. So, I would like to know, does every math problem have an equal sign?(6 votes)
- There are some math problems that are inequalities which do not have equal signs, they have the greater than (or equal to) and less than (or equal to).(3 votes)

- Who came up with the equals sign and when?(1 vote)
- It was invented in 1557 by Robert Recorde. Rober Recorde was a Welsh physician and politician. He also introduced the plus sign to English speakers in 1557 as well.(13 votes)

- I don't get it it's using the symbol = and 81 isn't equal to 18 so why did he use the equal sign?(5 votes)
- That is just an example of something that is false: 18 = 81 is not true (as opposed to say 24 = 2 + 2 being true).

You can use the 'not equal' sign here: 18 ≠ 81, as 18 is not equal to 81(5 votes)

- at1:00he says that 5 = 3+2 is the same as 3+2=5

how does that work?

i mean, there's a commutative property for mult and adding

but an equal sign?(6 votes)- You have written the answer in your question. Because of the Commutative Property of Addition, 5 = 2 + 3 and 3 + 2 = 5. They both equal the same amount.(3 votes)

- Is there a sign for things that are unequal on a computer (eg 1 doesn't equal 3)?(3 votes)
- Not on the standard QWERTY keyboard. But in math the sign is ≠.

Here it is in your example.

1 ≠ 3(2 votes)

- Can you replace the equal sign with another symbol?(4 votes)
- Math is like a language. We decide what each symbol means. So yes as long as you know what it means.(6 votes)

- First of all, forgive my formatting. I don't know how to properly type or write equations.

If we write an equation vertically* [edited], is the line underneath the equation the equal sign?

e.g.,

2

+2

__ <---

4(1 vote)- I think you mean adding the numbers vertically, which looks something like this:
`2`

+ 2

———

4

The line one the bottom does reference to the equal sign and when written horizontally would look as follows: 2 + 2 = 4. So, you are correct!

(p.s. The way you can format an equation or expression is shown in the blue 'Show formatting options', it will help)

Hope this helps!(2 votes)

## Video transcript

- When you first learn
math, you see things like two plus three is equal to five, or you might see six plus one is equal to seven, or you might see eight minus two is equal to six. And all of these, you might
think that the equal sign just says, hey, give me the answer, figure out what two plus three is. Two plus three, well, the answer is five. Six plus one, the answer is seven. Eight minus two, the answer is six. That's not quite right. What the equal sign is saying is that what's on the left side
is the same amount, the same quantity, as what
is on the right-hand side. It's saying that two plus three
is the same thing as five. And you didn't have to write it this way. You could have written, you could have written five
is equal to two plus three. You could write that three plus two is equal to two plus three. Notice, here, we're not
figuring out the answer, we're just saying that
whatever three plus two is, that's going to be the same thing as whatever two plus three is. We know that they both equal five. You could even mix
addition and subtraction, you could write, you could write that six plus one is the same thing, is equal to, eight minus one. They are the same amount,
the same quantity. What is six plus one, well, that's seven. What's eight minus one,
well, that is seven. So the equal sign does not mean just give me the answer or just, you know, add the numbers or subtract the numbers. An equal sign is saying that
what's on the left-hand side is the same amount as what's
on the right-hand side. So with that in our brain,
let's write some statements using equal signs, some
equations, you could even say, using equal signs, and figure out which of them are actually true. So if I were to write down,
if I were to write down, I won't even read it out,
'cause it might give it away. If I were to write down
this, is this true? Well, the number on the left here is 18, the number on the left is
18, the number on the right is a different number, it is 81, it is 81. They swapped, or we swapped (chuckles), the one and the eight,
they're in different places. This is a different number, this is 81. These are not equal. These are not, not equal. So this statement is not true. And sometimes you might
even see someone do something like this, that means not equal. 18 is not equal to 81. Let's keep going. What if I were to write, what if I were to write nine minus three plus two minus zero is equal to, is equal to... zero plus one minus one plus eight, is this true? Well, let's figure out
what the left-hand side is. See, nine minus three is six, plus two is eight, minus zero is eight. So this, this, if I were to, if I were to compute it, that's equal to eight. And then on the right-hand
side I have zero plus one minus one, well, one minus one is zero, so this is all going to be eight. So this is, this is
true, eight equals eight. This is another way of writing eight, nine minus three plus two
minus zero, this is eight. And this is also eight, so once again the equal sign is just saying that this, what we have on the left, is the same as what we have on the right. Let's do another example. Let's do another example,
let's do two more examples. If I were to write this, is this true? Well, you might be tempted, hey, if I put a one (chuckles) and a zero together, it's gonna look like a 10,
but that's not, this is not how we do mathematics, this
is not how we add things. One plus zero is just one, so
this would be the same thing as saying that 10 is equal
to one, which we know is not true, so this is not
equal, this is not equal. Let's do one more. Let's say I had seven plus one is equal to three plus four. Is this equation true? Well, what do we have on the left, seven plus one is eight,
three plus four is seven. These are not the same
quantity, they're not the same amount, so these are not equal. And we're done.