# What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

1. ## What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

Hi,

During a calculation I have made the following that, now I know it is wrong:
A1=1
A2=2
A3=3
A4=4

=sum(A1:A3+A4)
the result of this is 18 and I don't understand why.

Could someone explain why this is happening? This is the curiosity speaking as I understand that we should use the "," like this =sum(A1:A3,A4)

Thanks
Nuno

2. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

The way you wrote it will add A4 to each cell in the range, so you will actually be getting the SUM of (1+4), (2+4) AND (3+4).

Hope this helps.

Pete

3. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

If you use the "Evaluate formula" button on the formula tab you can step through the calculation to see what is happening.
In this case it's adding 4 to every value in A1:A3

4. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

=sum(a1:a3+a4) =sum(a1+a4,a2+a4,a3+a4) =sum(1+4,2+4,3+4) =sum(5,6,7) =18

5. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

Thanks so much for your replies! Cristal clear.

6. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

Glad to help & thanks for the feedback

7. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

You are Welcome! Thanks for the feedback.

8. ## Re: What excel does when a + is added inside of a SUM function

Also, since you are relatively new to the forum, you might like to know that you can directly thank those who have helped you by clicking on the small "star" icon located in the lower left corner of a post that you have found to be helpful (not just in this thread - for any post that has helped you). This also adds to the reputation of the poster (the small green bars in the poster's profile).

Pete

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