Google Sheets Lesson 1 – CONCATENATE

One of the most common sources of information for teachers about students is their School Information System, and this information often comes in the form of a spreadsheet (.xlsx or .csv) file.  Sometimes you get all the information you need about a student, but sometimes you have to manipulate it a little bit.

One of the most helpful manipulations is the function CONCATENATE. It is a simple function that links two strings together. If you don’t know already, a ‘string’ is simple a group of letters and numbers that are ‘strung’ together to make a block of text. So if you concatenate together the strings “Hello” and “World”, you would end up with “HelloWorld”.  If you want to add a space between them, you need to concatenate “Hello”, ” “, and “World”, as shown below:

=CONCATENATE(“Hello”, ” “, “World”)

If you type this into a Google Sheet, or in Excel, you will see displayed “Hello World”.For our first example, we will practice a very common task – combining first names and last names to a full name. In a generic form, it would look like:

=CONCATENATE(“First Name”, ” “, “Last Name”)

However, in a spreadsheet you would want to replace the strings here with references to the cells that hold those names. Look at this example and see how the names are combined.


Make a copy of the example sheet above. Then, try to combine not only the first and last names, but first, MIDDLE, and last.

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