**Word equations are equations in which mathematical operations are applied to words instead of numbers.** Word equations are commonly used in chemistry and are used to show common chemical reactions. Word equations are written with the name of the substance instead of the chemical abbreviation.

A basic word equation would be hydrogen gas + oxygen gas = steam. If the abbreviations and amounts are used in the equation, it is called a symbolic equation. In mathematics, a word equation could be used as an intermediate step in a word problem. One example could be boys + girls = total number of people.