- Thread starter EnglishBug
- Start date

We say "two times three equals six."

If we said one, one, it would be 11.

If we said one, one, it would be 11.

I think I was primarily taught it as:

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Four twos are eight

etc

But I also seem to remember:

Two times two is four

Three times two is six

My memory is rather hazy: it was, unfortunately, a very long time ago!

Loob, your memory is still good... That's how I remember it as well...My memory is rather hazy: it was, unfortunately, a very long time ago!

GF..

We don't forget that stuff.....

The equation "2 x 3 = 6" could also be read as,

"Two multiplied by three is equal to six."

However, all those extra syllables aren't likely to be used for reciting an entire multiplication table.

My memory is holding up well. Definitely this way of reciting them.Hi EnglishBug

I think I was primarily taught it as:

Once two is two

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Four twos are eight

etc

My memory is rather hazy: it was, unfortunately, a very long time ago!

We all remember things well from when we were young and our brain was about empty. But as it fills up you need to push out some things to make room for the new stuff. The old stuff is there for good; so the new stuff pushes other new stuff out. So you end up forgetting things you read just an hour earlier.My memory is holding up well. Definitely this way of reciting them.

Eleven times ten is one-ten

Eleven times eleven is one-twenty-one

Eleven times twelve is one-thirty-two

Twelve times twelve is one-forty-four

(They only teach to the ten times table nowadays in the USA, so this is added for the youngins who ain't had our advantages. )

I can't say I have any clear recollections of 60+ years ago. These days I count myself lucky to know who's in bed with me when I wake up. Luckily it's always the same fellow. As an adult I say "three fours are twelve". I would think that as small kids we said "Three times two makes six" because we called them " the 'times' tables", " We're doing the six times table now!" We called multiplication 'times'- "we're learning how to do 'times' sums". We chanted the tables every morning and got tested, both written and oral. These days they talk about numeracy, not 'sums', and they seem to use the proper terms.

Hermione

Hermione

Last edited:

I learnt my "times" tables too (I somehow missed the 9 times table and have difficulty to this day - perhaps I should attend remedial numeracy classes!).I can't say I have any clear recollections of 60+ years ago. These days I count myself lucky to know who's in bed with me when I wake up. Luckily it's always the same fellow. As an adult I say "three fours are twelve". I would think that as small kids we said "Three times two makes six" because we called them " the 'times' tables", " We're doing the six times table now!" We called multiplication 'times'- "we're learning how to do 'times' sums". We chanted the tables every morning and got tested, both written and oral. These days they talk about numeracy, not 'sums', and they seem to use the proper terms.

Hermione

I wonder if they still teach the "twelve times" table since the currency went decimal a little while ago. The 12 times table always seemed useful in the days of pounds, shillings and pence

It was useful for commerce too (and probably still is useful). Even today many items are sold by the dozen or the gross (in the USA). So it was useful to know that six dozen (or a half-gross) was equal to seventy-two; or that a quarter gross (three dozen) equals thirty-six, etc.I learnt my "times" tables too (I somehow missed the 9 times table and have difficulty to this day - perhaps I should attend remedial numeracy classes!).

I wonder if they still teach the "twelve times" table since the currency went decimal a little while ago. The 12 times table always seemed useful in the days of pounds, shillings and pence

One times one is one.

...

Six times five is thirty.

Six times six is thirty-six.

Six times seven is forty-two.

...

Twelve times twelve is a hundred and forty-four.

...

Six times five is thirty.

Six times six is thirty-six.

Six times seven is forty-two.

...

Twelve times twelve is a hundred and forty-four.

Same here, except for the first line, where the numbers were inverted. So it went:I think I was primarily taught it as:

Once two is two

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Two threes are six

Three threes are nine

I also remember:

two into three is equal to six

That's how we said it (Midwest, early '60s) but we only learned up to the tens.

One times one is one.

...

Six times five is thirty.

Six times six is thirty-six.

Six times seven is forty-two.

...

Twelve times twelve is a hundred and forty-four.

I somehow missed the 9 times table and have difficulty to this day - perhaps I should attend remedial numeracy classes!

[This question, and a number of the following posts, have been added to a previous thread on the same topic. Please read down from the top. DonnyB - moderator].

To express this:

"4×3=12" we say "four times three is 12", but can it be:

"Four threes are 12."(or is)

Is the use of "four threes natural"? I am actually teaching a little kid,so this question popped up in my mind.......

Thank you

To express this:

"4×3=12" we say "four times three is 12", but can it be:

"Four threes are 12."(or is)

Is the use of "four threes natural"? I am actually teaching a little kid,so this question popped up in my mind.......

Thank you

Last edited by a moderator:

It's common in Indian English.Is the use of "four threesnatural"~~"~~?

Have you looked for earlier threads? I think there are several.

I used to say that when I was learning my "times tables" at Junior School, yes.

*[cross-posted]*

Yes. Four threes** are** twelve, five threes **are** fifteen . . .

Multi-crossed.

Multi-crossed.

Just realised, after seeing another thread on the same topic, that my earlier post wasn't fully accurate. All the lines were "inverted", with the number that the table was for coming first.Same here, except for the first line, where the numbers were inverted. So it went:

Three ones are three

Two threes are six

Three threes are nine

Three twos are six

Three threes are nine

Three fours are twelve...

So what's more common:

"Four times three is 12"

OR

"Four threes are 12."(or is)

Where I grew up, we used 'x' and '=', which are part of multiplication. Orally we said "times" for 'x' and "equals" or "is" for '='. We even called the multiplication table "the times table".

1x1=1 ("one times one is one")

3x4=12 ("three times four is twelve")

We never chanted multiplication tables out loud. (EDIT) Even in the 1950s that method of memorization was considered outdated pedagogy.

1x1=1 ("one times one is one")

3x4=12 ("three times four is twelve")

We never chanted multiplication tables out loud. (EDIT) Even in the 1950s that method of memorization was considered outdated pedagogy.

Last edited:

It depends on how juvenile you are. Once past primary school, the "times" version is likely to be more common, and should use "is", not "are", because the implied subject is "the result of <performing this operation> is ...".So what's more common:

The version without "times" should use "are", not "is", provided the first number isn't "one":

But 'Four threes

Strange, isn't it, the fashionable dogma in education? I've always found instant recall of multiplication a valuable skill. Very useful when working as a barman - these days bar staff seem incapable of mentally calculating the price of a few drinks. Having learnt the tables by rote as a young child didn't stunt my abilityy to go on to A-level maths at secondary school.We never chanted multiplication tables out loud. Even in the 1950s "rote memorization" was considered outdated pedagogy.

My daughter is a primary teacher, and tells me that multiplication tables are back in fashion. Her mental arithmetic is atrocious - the product of what was fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s.

For me, it was definitelyI think I was primarily taught it as:

Once two is two

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Four twos are eight

One two is two

I think I would have puzzled over "once two", and why it would not have been followed by "twice two is four".

I was taught, "four times three is twelve" or "four times three equals twelve".

So it's not used in AmE, right?

Not that I've seen.

To me "four threes" is four groups of three. You can add (3+3+3+3=12) or multiply (4x3=12) to get 12, but they aren't 12 until you add or multiply them. So the phrase "four threes are twelve" is not one I've heard.

Strange, isn't it, the fashionable dogma in education? I've always found instant recall of multiplication a valuable skill.

Yes, the "new math" of the 1980s and 1990s was terrible. I completely agree that memorizing multiplication tables is valuable. To this day I say to myself "nine times six is 54".My daughter is a primary teacher, and tells me that multiplication tables are back in fashion. Her mental arithmetic is atrocious - the product of what was fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s.

In post #20 I mis-spoke. I should have said that we memorized the tables -- we just didn't do it by reciting them out loud.

This sounds bizarre. Where I live, "into" is only used for division:...

one into three is equal to three

two into three is equal to six

Two into three is one and a half.

That wouldn’t make sense in New York either. Three into six is the same as six divided by three.This sounds bizarre. Where I live, "into" is only used for division:

Two into three is one and a half.

That's Indianism. Indians use "into" to express multiplication/to meanThat wouldn’t make sense in New York either. Three into six is the same as six divided by three.

Last edited:

Always.[...] Be careful while dealing with Indians. [...]

Teacher: Do you know your times tables?

Bart: I know