# What is the difference between combinations and permutations?

##### 1 Answer

It depends of whether the **order** is important.

**Example:**

Let's say you choose a committee of three to represent your class of 30 students:

For the first member you have

For the second you have

For the third you have

For a total of **permutations**

Now this is assuming that the order of choice is relevant: the first one will be called 'president', the second will be 'secretary' and the third will be just 'member'.

If this is not the case (all three are equal) then the **order** in which they are picked is not important.

With three picked there are **combinations** .

So: combinations= permutations divided by orders

Or, in our example:

**GC:**

You will find the functions

where -in this example- you would do

There is also a function called

And you will notice that: