How would you write 2(x+4) as a verbal expression?
I would express it verbally as "number
Alternatively, you can say "double the sum of an unknown
Generally speaking, using mathematical symbols is a preferable way of describing the algebraic expressions. It improves comprehension of the text besides making it shorter.
What usually happens is the opposite process. A problem is described verbally and, to solve it, a student usually translates it into algebraic expression, which is a good exercise in comprehension. It also allows a teacher to evaluate student's abilities to quickly understand the problem.
Correct algebraic representation of a verbally specified problem is, usually, a good indication that a problem will be solved correctly.