**What is an algorithm?**

Merry’s mother asked her to prepare a cup of tea following the steps given below.

**Step 1:** Put half a cup of water in a pan.

**Step 2:** Put half a cup of milk in the pan.

**Step 3:** Add 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of dried tea leaves in the pan.

**Step 4:** Light the burner of the gas stove.

**Step 5:** Put the pan over the flame.

**Step 6:** Bring the mixture to boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.

**Step 7:** Switch off the burner.

**Step 8:** Filter the tea in a cup using a sieve.

This step-by-step instruction of performing a task to get a work done is called an **algorithm**. Algorithms are used to define steps for calculations as well as processing of data. But, before writing an algorithm, you need to learn some basic terms.

**Input or Read:**It is used when the computer has to ask for some data.**Print or Write:**It is used when computer has to give the solution or result.

For example, if you want to calculate a sum of two numbers (20 and 32), you need to follow the steps given below to get the result.

**Step 1:** Read the number ’20’.

**Step 2:** Read the number ’32’.

**Step 3:** Find the sum of the two numbers (20 + 32).

**Step 4:** Show the result ’52’.