Tag Archives: logic

Math Problem

Equal versus Equivalence

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I love this concept. On your immediate first impression, do you think of “equal” and “equivalent” being the same thing? Think again. Understanding the difference between equivalency and equality could be a really valuable concept for students to understand as soon as they are old enough to comprehend it. It would help their learning process in school (and in the real world) considerably.

Equal is defined as, “being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.” Whereas equivalent is defined as, “equal in value, amount, function, or meaning.” In the above problem 5 x 3 is equal to 5 + 5 + 5, but they’re not necessarily equivalent. Equivalence relates to meaning, so it depends on the meaning of multiplication.