Totaling vs. Total — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Updated on March 13, 2024
Totaling involves the act of calculating a sum, whereas total refers to the sum itself.

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Key Differences

Totaling is the process of adding numbers or quantities together to find their sum. This verb form is often used when describing the action taken to arrive at a total amount. For example, when you're calculating expenses, you're totaling up costs. Total, on the other hand, serves as both a noun and an adjective. As a noun, it represents the final sum or amount after all calculations are done. As an adjective, it describes the entirety or completeness of something. For instance, the total cost of an item includes all associated fees.
When it comes to financial documents or reports, totaling is a crucial step in ensuring accuracy. This action helps in identifying the total revenue, expenses, or profits. Meanwhile, the total figure that results from this action is what businesses and individuals often focus on for budgeting and planning.
In software and applications that deal with data, totaling functions are built to automate the calculation process, making it easier and more efficient to obtain total values. Conversely, the total values generated are critical for analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
In daily life, totaling is a common practice, whether it's summing up a grocery bill or calculating total miles driven. The total in these instances gives a clear picture of expenditure or distance, influencing future decisions or plans.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb (action)
Noun/Adjective (thing or descriptor)
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Purpose

To calculate a sum or aggregate
The result of an aggregation or sum; complete amount

Usage in Context

Totaling expenses for a trip
The total cost of the trip

Associated With

The process of calculation
The final figure or sum

Significance

Indicates action or process
Indicates result or completeness

Compare with Definitions

Totaling

Accumulating or gathering into a whole.
The project's costs are totaling more than initially expected.

Total

Complete in extent or degree; absolute.
There was total silence in the room after the announcement.

Totaling

The ongoing process of summing up items.
They are totaling the votes to declare the winner.

Total

The entirety of something.
The total number of participants was surprisingly high.

Totaling

Refers to the action leading to a total amount.
Totaling the damages after the storm will take some time.

Total

Encompassing everything or everyone; overall.
The total effect of the policy change was positive

Totaling

Calculating the sum of various items or numbers.
The accountant is totaling the receipts for the month.

Total

The sum amount resulting from the addition of numbers.
The total of all invoices paid this month exceeds the budget.

Totaling

Adding up to a specific quantity or number.
The daily sales are totaling to an impressive figure this quarter.

Total

Referring to the final amount of something.
The total cost includes taxes and fees.

Totaling

An amount obtained by addition; a sum.

Total

Comprising the whole number or amount
A total cost of £4,000

Totaling

The whole amount of something; the entirety
The storm damaged the total of the housing units.

Total

Complete; absolute
A total stranger
It is a matter of total indifference to me

Totaling

Of, relating to, or constituting the whole amount; entire
The total population of the city.

Total

The whole number or amount of something
In total, 200 people were interviewed
He scored a total of thirty-three points

Totaling

Complete; utter; absolute
Total concentration.
A total effort.
A total fool.

Total

Amount in number to
They were left with debts totalling £6,260

Totaling

To determine the total of; add up
They totaled the applications at 600.

Total

Damage (something, typically a vehicle) beyond repair; wreck
He almost totalled the car

Totaling

To equal a total of; amount to
The week's receipts totaled more than \$90,000.

Total

An amount obtained by addition; a sum.

Totaling

To wreck completely; demolish
The driver survived the crash but totaled the car.

Total

The whole amount of something; the entirety
The storm damaged the total of the housing units.

Totaling

To add up; amount
It totals to \$25.

Total

Of, relating to, or constituting the whole amount; entire
The total population of the city.

Totaling

Present participle of total

Total

Complete; utter; absolute
Total concentration.
A total effort.
A total fool.

Total

To determine the total of; add up
They totaled the applications at 600.

Total

To equal a total of; amount to
The week's receipts totaled more than \$90,000.

Total

To wreck completely; demolish
The driver survived the crash but totaled the car.

Total

To add up; amount
It totals to \$25.

Total

An amount obtained by the addition of smaller amounts.
A total of £145 was raised by the bring-and-buy stall.

Total

Sum.
The total of 4, 5 and 6 is 15.

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.

Total

(used as an intensifier) Complete; absolute.
He is a total failure.

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.

Total

(transitive) To add up; to calculate the sum of.
When we totalled the takings, we always got a different figure.

Total

To equal a total of; to amount to.
That totals seven times so far.

Total

To demolish; to wreck completely. (from total loss)
Honey, I’m OK, but I’ve totaled the car.

Total

(intransitive) To amount to; to add up to.
It totals nearly a pound.

Total

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

Total

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

Total

To bring to a total; also, to reach as a total; to amount to.

Total

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

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.

The whole amount

Total

A quantity obtained by addition

Total

Add up in number or quantity;
The bills amounted to \$2,000
The bill came to \$2,000

Total

Determine the sum of;
Add all the people in this town to those of the neighboring town

Total

Constituting the full quantity or extent; complete;
An entire town devastated by an earthquake
Gave full attention
A total failure

Total

Including everything;
The overall cost
The total amount owed

Total

Without conditions or limitations;
A total ban

Total

Complete in extent or degree and in every particular;
A full game
A total eclipse
A total disaster

Common Curiosities

What does totaling mean?

Totaling refers to the act of adding up numbers or amounts to find their sum.

How do you use total in a sentence?

"The total cost of the project was more than we anticipated."

Can total be used as a verb?

Yes, total can also be used as a verb meaning to amount to a total of; to calculate the total of.

What is the difference between totaling and total?

Totaling is the action of calculating a sum, while total refers to the sum itself or the completeness of something.

What part of speech is 'total'?

Total can be a noun, adjective, or verb, depending on its use in a sentence.

Can the word total imply completeness?

Yes, as an adjective, total can imply completeness or entirety.

Is it correct to say 'totaling up'?

Yes, "totaling up" is a correct phrase, often used to emphasize the act of calculation.

What does 'totaling a car' mean?

"Totaling a car" means causing enough damage to a vehicle that repairing it would cost more than the car's value.

Why is totaling important in accounting?

Totaling is crucial in accounting to ensure accuracy in financial statements and reports.

How does totaling differ in manual vs. digital calculations?

Totaling manually involves physical calculation, prone to errors, while digital calculations are automated and typically more accurate.

What does 'the total package' mean?

"The total package" refers to something or someone having all the desired or required qualities, features, or elements.

How does the concept of totaling apply to everyday life?

Totaling applies to everyday life in managing finances, planning, and assessing quantities or distances.

Can total values change over time?

Yes, total values can change over time as additional amounts are added or subtracted.

What is the significance of a total in decision-making?

The total figure is significant in decision-making as it provides a clear picture of financial or quantitative status, influencing future actions or strategies.

Is total always related to numbers?

While often related to numbers, total can also describe the entirety or completeness of non-quantitative aspects.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat