**When a math teacher says, "Write a verbal expression to represent each expression," she wants the students to change the algebraic representation into English sentences.** Algebra can be denoted by sentences formed of specific English terms that indicate the use of a mathematical operator.

For example, if an algebraic expression "3x + 5 = 20" is given, the verbal expression of such an expression can be written, "Find a number such that 5 added to 3 times the number gives 20," or it can also be written, "Find a number that yields 20 when 5 is added to 3 multiplied by that number."

While writing the verbal expressions, it is very important to write in such a way that obtaining the algebraic expression back from it does not become a tedious task. Knowing how to write algebraic expressions from verbal expressions – and writing verbal expressions from algebraic equations – is important, because variables clearly indicated as "x" or "y" generally do not exist in problems that must be solved in day-to-day life. Instead, one must deal with English words that describe the same concepts as certain mathematical operations. For instance, no one is likely to say say, "Solve 3x + 5 = 20" in a typical job. Instead, the problem may arise in terms of finding the number of cars that must be produced so that five cars added to thrice that number results in a total of 20 cars.