Reflexive Property of Equality

Pronunciation: /rɪˈflɛk.sɪv ˈprɒp.ər.ti ʌv ɪˈkwɒl.ɪ.ti/ Explain

The reflexive property of equality for real numbers states that a number always equals itself: a = a.

Think of a mirror. When you look in a reflection in a mirror, everything on your right hand looks like it is on the left hand of the reflection. This is a good way to remember the reflexive property.

  • Start with a.
  • The equal sign is like a mirror. We will use it to reflect the a.
  • Since the a is reflected across the equals, a = a. This is the reflexive property of equality.

Mnemonic What is a mnemonic?


Picture of a mirror reflecting a = b as b = a.
Figure 1: a reflected as a = a.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, reflexive property of equality. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 153. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book
  2. Gilbert, Jimmie; and Gilbert Linda. Elements of Modern Algebra. 6th edition. pp 49-50. Thomson, Brooks/Cole. 2005. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Reflexive Property of Equality. 5/2/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

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Revision History

5/2/2019: Changed equations and expressions to new format. (McAdams, David E.)
3/29/2019: Clarified wording. (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
12/4/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup. (McAdams, David E.)
10/5/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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