Adding numbers in Google Sheets is one of the most basic calculations. Just like Excel, you can use the SUM function. But what about subtracting numbers? With Google Sheets, you have a few different ways to subtract values.

## Use the MINUS Function

Unlike Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets has a function for subtraction. The function is `MINUS`

and it works with both numbers and cell references. The syntax for the formula is `MINUS(value1, value2)`

where both arguments are required.

To subtract numbers, such as 20 minus 15, you would enter the following formula and press Enter.

`=MINUS(20,15)`

To subtract values within cells, like `A2`

minus `A3`

, you would enter this formula and press Enter.

`=MINUS(A2,A3)`

## Use the Minus Sign

Along with the `MINUS`

function, you can simply enter a minus sign for the numbers or cell references you want to subtract. The advantage to this method is that you don’t have to include the values in parentheses.

** **

To subtract numbers, such as 20 minus 15, you would enter the following formula and press Enter.

`=20-15`

To subtract values within cells, like `A2`

minus `A3`

, you would enter this formula and press Enter.

`=A2-A3`

## Use the SUM Function

If you’re accustomed to using the `SUM`

function and prefer to stick with it, you can use it to subtract numbers as well as add them. You simply use the function along with the minus sign described above.

To subtract the numbers 20 minus 15 using `SUM`

, you would enter the following and press Enter.

`=SUM(20-15)`

To subtract the values in cells `A2`

and `A3`

, you would enter this formula and press Enter.

`=SUM(A2-A3)`

## Create Subtraction Equations

Not every calculation you need is as simple as A minus B. For instance, you might want to add a few numbers and then subtract others. Using the above functions along with operators like the minus and plus signs, you can create the equation you need. Let’s look at a few examples.

** **

You can use the `MINUS`

function to subtract your values and then multiply the result. As an example, we’ll subtract the values in cells `A2`

and `A3`

and then multiply the result by 10. You would enter the following and hit Enter.

`=MINUS(A2,A3)*10`

Similarly, you can use the minus sign with cell references or numbers and then add a value. With this formula, we subtract 10 from 25 and add 15 to the result. Note that in this case you would use parentheses with the minus sign to perform that calculation first.

`=(25-10)+15`

For one more example, we’ll use the `SUM`

function to add the range of values in cells `A2`

through `A5`

and then subtract the value in cell `A6`

.

`=SUM(A2:A5)-A6`

Looking for additional help with formulas and equations? Take a look at how to divide numbers in Google Sheets or how to see basic calculations without creating formulas at all.