Excel to English: How to Think in IF Statements


Ever feel like learning Microsoft Excel is like learning another language?  Don't beat yourself up, it kind of is!  "Keeping track of data in rows and columns is hard enough, and now I have to learn a whole bunch of formulas?"

Mercifully, there is a way to learn Excel that keeps those formulas memorable and (for the most part) in English!  Let's take a very basic example of a conditional formula, an IF function.

Before we even start looking up formulas, watching YouTube videos, and getting stressed over the coding, let's take a breath and articulate what we want to do in plain English.

"If the number to the left is greater than zero, then return the word 'POSITIVE.'  Otherwise, return the word 'NOT POSITIVE.'"

See what we did there?  By putting the objective in plain English, we've identified three key parts of our function:  (1) the condition, (2) the result if the condition is TRUE, and (3) the result if the condition is FALSE.

Excel uses the same convention!

=IF([condition],[do this if TRUE],[do this if FALSE])

Have additional questions about conditionals or other Excel elements?  Reach out today to chat live with someone from our team, email us, or call us by phone!