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The PERMUTATIONA function calculates the number of permutations for a given number of objects (or set) that can be chosen from a larger set. It is commonly used in statistics to calculate the number of possible combinations when selecting a set of objects from a larger set.


Use the PERMUTATIONA formula with the syntax shown below, it has 2 required parameters:

=PERMUTATIONA(number, number_chosen)
  1. number (required):
    The total number of objects in the set.
  2. number_chosen (required):
    The number of objects that will be chosen from the set.


Here are a few example use cases that explain how to use the PERMUTATIONA formula in Google Sheets.

Calculate the number of ways to arrange a set of objects

Suppose you have a set of 5 objects and you want to know how many ways you can arrange 3 of them. You can use the PERMUTATIONA function with the arguments 5 and 3 to find that there are 60 possible arrangements.

Find the number of possible outcomes in a lottery

If a lottery game involves picking 6 numbers from a pool of 50, you can use PERMUTATIONA to find out how many possible outcomes there are. The formula would be =PERMUTATIONA(50, 6), which gives a result of 15,890,700 possible outcomes.

Calculate the number of possible poker hands

In a game of poker, a player is dealt 5 cards from a standard deck of 52 cards. You can use PERMUTATIONA to calculate the number of possible hands. The formula would be =PERMUTATIONA(52, 5), which gives a result of 2,598,960 possible hands.

Common Mistakes

PERMUTATIONA not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the PERMUTATIONA Google Sheets Formula:

Using non-integer values

Both arguments for PERMUTATIONA must be non-negative integers. Using decimal values or text strings will result in an error.

Swapping arguments

The first argument for PERMUTATIONA should be the total number of objects, while the second argument should be the number of objects chosen. Swapping these values will result in an incorrect result.

Using incorrect range of values

The second argument for PERMUTATIONA cannot be greater than the first argument. Using an invalid range of values will result in an error.

The following functions are similar to PERMUTATIONA or are often used with it in a formula:


    The COMBIN function calculates the number of combinations for a given number of items. A combination is a way of selecting items from a larger set where order does not matter. This function is commonly used in probability and statistics.

  • FACT

    The FACT formula calculates the factorial of a given number. The factorial of a number is the product of all positive integers from 1 to the given number. This formula is commonly used in probability and combinatorics.

  • RAND

    The RAND function returns a random number between 0 and 1. This function is often used in combination with other functions to generate random values for simulations, games, or statistical analysis.


    The RANDBETWEEN formula generates a random integer between the two specified numbers. It is commonly used to simulate random events or generate test data.

Learn More

You can learn more about the PERMUTATIONA Google Sheets function on Google Support.