Suppose I want communicate - Express in writing
Like if someone has solved a question but he hasn't given explanation
So I could ask him to express more in writing
Is there a good word for this ?

verbalize is one such word, but it is used for spoken sentence, not for written ones

  • Is the context that someone has solved a maths question?
    – James K
    Mar 4, 2021 at 8:40
  • little confused over the context intended to be delivered here. Mar 4, 2021 at 9:22
  • In AmE, the usual phrase used is, "Show your work." Mar 4, 2021 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


According to dictionary.com

Word (verb: used with object) - to express in words; select words to express; phrase. Example - to word a contract with great care.


Demonstrate (verb: used with object) - to describe, explain, or illustrate by examples, specimens, experiments, or the like. Example - to demonstrate the force of gravity by dropping an object.

The former one will be appropriate in the context, when a person is asked to write his/her explanation or to give in written what he/she claims to be knowing.

The latter one, however, will be more appropriate in the cases, when a person in asked to physically show his/her verbal or written works.

  • If I say verbalize it. Does that mean speak it up or verbalize is also used in the context of writing up also. Mar 6, 2021 at 10:03
  • @Amitwadhwa I am pretty sure it isn't appropriate to use 'verbalize it' as a phrase to ask a person to write his/her work on paper, even though using 'word it' for the same isn't a common practice either(never heard anyone say that to me) it's the only phrase on dictionary.com that fits perfect into the context. Mar 6, 2021 at 14:46
  • Thanks. I got that part. But consider the word Demonstrate is that appropriate? Because the student as per him has already demonstrated a solution to a maths problem. But it's incomplete from teacher's point of view. Also I just saw merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verbalize . On this it mentions the meaning of verbalize as to speak or write verbosely. Probably it's used very less in the context of writing up. Mar 7, 2021 at 11:12

The classic phrase for this, in British English at least, is "show your working" when referring to a maths or engineering type question.

If this was an essay type question, then I would say "needs further explanation".

  • In questions related to maths. Sometimes students write one equation after the other mathematically. And the solution just looks like a set of lines one followed by other. So in this case it feels needs further explanation seems appropriate. Mar 6, 2021 at 10:05

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