In order to understand exactly how an Excel function works, you must understand its syntax. A function's syntax is simply the structure necessary to properly express the function and to define its arguments. As stated earlier, all Excel functions begin with an equal sign followed by the function name. The function name is followed by a set of parentheses that contains the function's arguments; the arguments are separated by commas. Remember that depending on the particular function you are using, arguments can include constants, cell or range references, logical values such as TRUE or FALSE, formulas, and even other functions.

Figure: The basic elements of an Excel function.

Functions can contain both required and ...

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