# Total vs. Subtotal: Know the Difference

By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023

**Total refers to the complete amount or sum of all parts, while Subtotal is an intermediate sum, not including all items or factors.**

## Key Differences

Total represents the whole, complete sum of a set of numbers or parts. In contrast, Subtotal refers to an intermediate, partial sum, usually calculated before adding all elements to reach the total.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

In accounting, the total is the final amount after all calculations are done. Subtotal, however, is used to represent the sum of a particular group of items before combining them into the grand total.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

Total is often used in various contexts, from mathematics to everyday situations, implying the sum of everything counted. Subtotal is more specific, typically used in financial statements or invoices to sum up categories of items.

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Dec 06, 2023

The term total concludes a calculation or a list, representing the end result. Subtotal, on the other hand, is used partway through calculations, providing a temporary sum.

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Dec 06, 2023

In data analysis, total represents the sum of all data points. Subtotal, however, might represent the sum of a subset of data points, used to analyze specific segments before considering the entire dataset.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

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## Comparison Chart

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## Total and Subtotal Definitions

#### Subtotal

Sum of a category of items.

The subtotal for hardware items is listed separately.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Subtotal

Used in partial analysis.

The report showed a subtotal for each department's expenses.

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Dec 06, 2023

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#### Subtotal

A temporary total in calculations.

The subtotal before taxes comes to $450.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Total

The whole amount of something; the entirety

The storm damaged the total of the housing units.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Of, relating to, or constituting the whole amount; entire

The total population of the city.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Complete; utter; absolute

Total concentration.

A total effort.

A total fool.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To determine the total of; add up

They totaled the applications at 600.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To equal a total of; amount to

The week's receipts totaled more than $90,000.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To wreck completely; demolish

The driver survived the crash but totaled the car.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

An amount obtained by the addition of smaller amounts.

A total of £145 was raised by the bring-and-buy stall.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Entire; relating to the whole of something.

The total book is rubbish from start to finish.

The total number of votes cast is 3,270.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

(mathematics) (of a function) Defined on all possible inputs.

The Ackermann function is one of the simplest and earliest examples of a total computable function that is not primitive recursive.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

(transitive) To add up; to calculate the sum of.

When we totalled the takings, we always got a different figure.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To demolish; to wreck completely. (from total loss)

Honey, I’m OK, but I’ve totaled the car.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Whole; not divided; entire; full; complete; absolute; as, a total departure from the evidence; a total loss.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

The whole; the whole sum or amount; as, these sums added make the grand total of five millions.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To determine the total of (a set of numbers); to add; - often used with up; as, to total up the bill.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

To damage beyond repair; - used especially of vehicles damaged in an accident; as, he skid on an ice patch and totaled his Mercedes against a tree. From total loss.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Add up in number or quantity;

The bills amounted to $2,000

The bill came to $2,000

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Determine the sum of;

Add all the people in this town to those of the neighboring town

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Constituting the full quantity or extent; complete;

An entire town devastated by an earthquake

Gave full attention

A total failure

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Total

Complete in extent or degree and in every particular;

A full game

A total eclipse

A total disaster

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Oct 19, 2023

## Repeatedly Asked Queries

#### Is 'total' always a monetary term?

No, 'total' can refer to any complete sum or amount, not just money.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Is 'subtotal' always less than 'total'?

Yes, since it's a partial sum, it's always less than or equal to the total.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'total' include everything without exception?

Yes, 'total' typically includes every item or part in the calculation.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'total' refer to a process of adding?

Yes, as a verb, it means to calculate the sum of.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'total' be a final verdict?

In a metaphorical sense, yes, it can imply a final, conclusive state.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'subtotal' be the final amount on some invoices?

Yes, especially if taxes or additional fees are not included.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'subtotal' be used in everyday language?

It's more common in financial contexts but can be used in daily situations for partial sums.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'subtotal' always require further addition?

Often, but not always. It depends on the context.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'subtotal' imply division into categories?

Often, it's used to sum up individual categories before reaching the total.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Is 'subtotal' used in programming or data analysis?

Yes, particularly in breaking down data sets into smaller sums.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'total' be used as an adjective?

Yes, to describe something complete or absolute.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'total' have a specific format in accounting?

Yes, it's often the final line in financial statements.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Is 'subtotal' useful in segmenting data?

Yes, it helps in analyzing parts of a larger set.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Is 'subtotal' used in mathematical problems?

Yes, especially in problems involving step-by-step calculations.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'subtotal' be a standalone figure?

It can, especially in reports or analyses.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'total' imply a comprehensive scope?

Yes, it encompasses everything within its context.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Does 'subtotal' help in understanding complex calculations?

Yes, by breaking down sums into smaller parts.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

#### Can 'total' have different meanings in different fields?

Yes, its meaning can vary slightly depending on the context.

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Dec 06, 2023

#### Is 'total' relevant in budget planning?

Yes, as it represents the entire amount of expenses or income.

Shumaila Saeed

Dec 06, 2023

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About Author

Written by

Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.