# COMBIN function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the COMBIN function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

## Description

Returns the number of combinations for a given number of items. Use COMBIN to determine the total possible number of groups for a given number of items.

## Syntax

`COMBIN(number, number_chosen)`

The COMBIN function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

• Number    Required. The number of items.
• Number_chosen    Required. The number of items in each combination.

## Remarks

• Numeric arguments are truncated to integers.
• If either argument is nonnumeric, COMBIN returns the #VALUE! error value.
• If number < 0, number_chosen < 0, or number < number_chosen, COMBIN returns the #NUM! error value.
• A combination is any set or subset of items, regardless of their internal order. Combinations are distinct from permutations, for which the internal order is significant.
• The number of combinations is as follows, where number = n and number_chosen = k:

where:

## Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

1. Press CTRL+C.
2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

A B
Formula Description (Result)
=COMBIN(8,2) Possible two-person teams that can be formed from 8 candidates (28)

Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses