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The UMINUS formula returns the negative value of a given number. It is commonly used to reverse the sign of a positive number or to subtract a number from zero. The formula takes only one argument which must be a valid number.


Use the UMINUS formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:

  1. value (required):
    The value to be negated. Must be a valid number.


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

Convert positive numbers to negative

By using UMINUS, you can quickly convert positive numbers to negative. For example, if you have a list of sales figures and you want to reverse their sign to represent refunds, you can use =UMINUS(B2).

Subtract a number from zero

To subtract a number from zero, you can use UMINUS with the number as its argument. For example, =UMINUS(10) will return -10.

Common Mistakes

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

Missing value to negate

Make sure to include a value to negate as an argument.

Incorrect argument type

Make sure the argument for UMINUS is a number or a reference to a cell containing a number.

Using UMINUS instead of MINUS

UMINUS is an operator that negates a value, while MINUS is an operator that subtracts values. Make sure you are using the correct operator.

Not using parentheses

If you want to negate the result of a calculation, make sure to put the calculation inside parentheses before applying UMINUS.

Using UMINUS unnecessarily

If you want to display a negative number, you can simply type a minus sign before the number, rather than using UMINUS.

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

  • ABS

    The ABS formula returns the absolute value of a number. The absolute value of a number is the distance between the number and zero on a number line, regardless of whether the number is negative or positive. It is commonly used to convert negative numbers to positive numbers or to ignore the negative sign of a number in calculations.


    The SUBTOTAL formula is a mathematical formula used to calculate a subtotal for a range of cells. It can perform different mathematical operations based on the function code specified as the first parameter. This formula is commonly used to calculate subtotals for a filtered range of cells.


    The SUMIF formula is used to add up values in a range that meet a specific criterion. It can be used to sum values based on text, numbers, or dates. The formula is most commonly used in financial analysis, budgeting, and data analysis.

Learn More

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