# How to pronounce "=" in mathematics or in related disciplines?

In English mathematical sign `=` is typically pronounced as `equals`

For example `A = B` is pronounced: `A is equal to B` or in programming `A != B` is pronounced `A is not equal to B`

How do you pronounce it in German?

• You mention programming languages. Note that in most programming languages, it is `A == B` which is pronounced "A is equal to B". By contrast, `A = B` is often read "A receives B" or "A is assigned B".
– Stef
Jan 30, 2022 at 20:49
• For future reference, it is usually best to consult a dictionary before asking a question. Jan 31, 2022 at 19:04

The usual way to say it is "ist gleich" or, shorter, "gleich".

a = b : "a (ist) gleich b"
a ≠ b : "a (ist) ungleich b"
a ≤ b : "a (ist) kleiner gleich b"
a ≥ b : "a (ist) größer gleich b"
a < b : "a ist kleiner als b" or "a ist kleiner b" or "a kleiner als b" or "a kleiner b"
a > b : "a (ist) größer (als) b"

``````for (i=1; i<=b; i++)
``````

"For, Klammer auf, i gleich eins, Semikolon, i kleiner gleich b, Semikolon, i plus plus, Klammer zu"

As pointed out in the comments, a programmer familiar with this kind of syntax would probably shorten that to something less verbatim, but I'm just using this example here for the `=` and `<=` that it contains.

Also, almost all programming languages differentiate between an assignment operator and an "equals" comparison. For example, in languages with a C-based syntax, it's `=` vs `==`. To my knowledge, there is no agreed-upon way of making that distincton when reading out loud. See the discussion in the comments for some suggestions. For me, in C-style languages, I'm mostly just reading assigments as "gleich" vs. comparison as "gleich gleich", but I have heard different ways to put it. Many of these make sense in themselves as long as they are used consequently.

• In simple numerical computations, also "ist" (or "macht"), e.g., 1+1=2 "eins plus (or colloquially: und) eins ist zwei" or (from the Pippi Langstrumpf song) 3 × 3 = 4 "drei mal drei macht vier" Jan 29, 2022 at 20:53
• "For, Klammer auf, i gleich eins, Semikolon, i kleiner gleich b, Semikolon, i plus plus, Klammer zu" Not sure if you are serious, but no programmer I know would talk like that "Für i gleich eins bis I kleiner gleich b, inkrementiere i" might be reasonable, but people would usually say "Das ist eine For-Schleife von eins bis einschließlich b mit i als laufvariable" (the "einschließlich is important). Jan 30, 2022 at 15:25
• and in mathematics, a < b is sometimes spoken "a echt kleiner b" to not mix it up with a <= b Jan 30, 2022 at 17:00
• @rexkogitans I never heard anyone use "Strichpunkt". Is that regional? I would say the most common way is just "Semikolon". Jan 31, 2022 at 9:13
• @kapex In Austria it's definitely Strichpunkt, for what it's worth. I don't think I have ever heard somebody say "Semikolon" in normal conversation. Jan 31, 2022 at 10:11