How do I Subtract in Google Sheets

Do you utilize Google Sheets for both professional and personal endeavors? If so, you might find yourself having to subtract from your calculations among other things. The fundamental arithmetic operation of subtraction allows you to calculate the difference between two numbers. Depending on your particular needs, each of the various subtraction methods available in Google Sheets may be helpful.

We’ll look at the many ways to subtract in Google Sheets in this article. The reasons for subtraction in Google Sheets will be covered first.

Why We Subtract in Google Sheets?

There are multiple reasons for subtracting in Google Sheets, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Calculating the difference between two numbers
  • Comparing two values
  • Adjusting the values
  • Calculating the change

How do I Subtract in Google Sheets?

There are three different ways by which one can subtract in Google Sheets:

  1. Using the Subtraction Operator
  2. Using the sum function with the negative signs
  3. Using the minus function

Method 1: Subtract using the Subtraction Operator

The first and most convenient method of performing the subtraction operation in Google Sheets is by using the subtraction operator (-). To understand it, consider a Google Sheet, and in cell A3, subtract the value of  A2 from the value of A1 using the subtraction operator:


Press the ENTER key to display the answer:

Method 2: Subtract Using the Sum Function with the Negative Signs

Another method is using the sum function by using the “Subtraction sign (-)” with one of the numbers. For example, we will use the sum formula to subtract the value of A1 from the value of A2 by using the formula:


The answer will be displayed after pressing the ENTER key:

Method 3: Subtract Using the Minus Function

Similar to the sum function, there is a “MINUS” function which can be applied by defining two values. The first value is the value from which the number is supposed to be subtracted and the other is the number that is supposed to be subtracted. For example, we will subtract the value of A1 from the A2 using the formula:


The answer after subtraction is displayed:

The final subtracted answer has been displayed on the cell. 


One can subtract the two different numbers in Google Sheets in three different ways. Using the subtraction operator, sum function, and minus function. In this article, all these three mentioned methods have been explained in detail with the help of some simple examples.