# How do you translate "5m^2+2" into a verbal expression?

Jun 25, 2015

How about: "five times the square of $m$, plus two".

Without the comma it could mean $5 {\left(m + 2\right)}^{2}$

Or you could use: "multiply $m$ by itself, multiply by five, then add two.

#### Explanation:

Even "two more than five times the square of $m$" could be misunderstood as $\left(5 + 2\right) {m}^{2}$

This all really highlights the ambiguity of our language when trying to describe precise mathematical expressions - which is why we tend to use symbols instead.