X equals (to) Y

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by Gavril, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    I once knew a Polish speaker who was quite fluent in English, but who, whenever he did a math calculation, would always say "equals to" instead of just "equals".

    For example,

    "If X2 equals to 9, then X equals to 3"

    Since standard English would generally not include the word "to" in this sentence, I wonder if this use of "to" was due to the influence of Polish syntax.

    How would you normally say "X equals Y" in Polish? Does the Polish construction involve the dative case, or something else that could be translated with English "to"?

    Thanks for any info
  2. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    In Polish we say "siła Piotra równa się sile Pawła” (the strength of Peter equals the strength of Paul, or “the strength of Peter is equal with the strength of Paul”). This expression involves the word strength in dative case.
    However, when speaking about numbers we say “trzy do kwadratu równa się dziewięć” (32 equals nine). And here the number is in nominative. So there is a double error in speaking in English about numbers: “x equals to five”.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  3. dn88 Senior Member

    I'm pretty sure that he said "equals to" by false analogy to "is equal to", where "equal" is an adjective, rather than by analogy to the way we say "equals" in Polish.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  4. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    If you're looking for the source of his error in Polish, then it's a lost cause. Dn88 offered the most likely explanation behind this mistake. :thumbsup:
  5. Ania R. Senior Member

    Poznań, Poland
    Polish (Poland)
    Yeah, I guess that since in Polish we have równa SIĘ, it seems like equals should also have something added after it... And it doesn't help that we have to be equal to in English either :D
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks for the answers!

Share This Page