# Lesson 5: Conditional Formulas

In life, we are constantly making decisions and circumstances frequently determine the decision we make. As a simple example, if it is cold outside, I wear a coat. If it is hot outside, I do not. Your Excel spreadsheet can also make decisions based on the circumstance. In Excel parlance, a circumstance is a condition and conditional formulas make calculations based on the condition. In this lesson, you will learn about conditional formulas.

The article "Use Excel Formulas to Make Comparisons or Join Text" discusses comparison operators and logicals. As a reminder, logicals are values that can only be either TRUE or FALSE. When you use a comparison operator, the result of the expression is always a logical. Some functions, such as the AND and OR functions, also always return a logical.

In a conditional formula, conditions are expressions or functions that return a logical. The formula examines all of the conditions and determines what action it should take based on the result. Alternatively, you set a criteria and Excel makes a calculation based on the criteria.