Explanation of the IF statement

The IF statement has 3 arguments as shown below:

  1. logical_test
  2. [value_if_true]
  3. [value_if_false]

Understanding how to use the IF statement is important because it’s one of the most basic functions yet incredibly useful and powerful.

Note: You can even use other functions within your IF statement (in any of the 3 arguments).

IF arguments

1. logical_test

The logical_test is a logical evaluation and must contain a logical operator. You can provide logical evaluations such as:

  • A mathematical calculation and evaluate if it equals a specific number, or if it is greater than or less than a specific number
  • Checking to see if a cell equals a specific text value (string)
  • Using a function within your logical_test

2. [value_if_true]

This is what you want Excel to do if the result of your logical_test is TRUE. Some examples would be:

  • Write a vlookup to bring a value from somewhere
  • Use any Excel function or combination of functions to evaluate for a result
  • Open another IF statement (embedded IF statements)
  • Perform a mathematical calculation
  • Return a fixed result (number or text)
  • Return a blank value by using 2 quotations side by side “”

2. [value_if_false]

This is what you want Excel to do if the result of your logical_test is FALSE. You can use all the same examples as listed above in the [value_if_true] section.

Examples of the IF statement

If the day of the week is Monday, return “yes” or else “no.

IF statement_1

If the day of the week is a Weekday (Monday to Friday) then put “Weekday” or else put “Weekend”.

IF statement_2

How this formula works is IF the 1st character from the left is an “S”, then put “Weekend” or else “Weekday”.

If I wrote RIGHT(B3,3)=”day” and copied this formula in all of my rows the result would be TRUE for all rows. This would be evaluating if the last 3 characters from the right equal “day”.


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