# How do I get the sum of the values of cells adjacent to a given key?

For example, given the following table, I'd like to return the sum of all cells directly to the left of all cells that contain the string 'joe' (6.0).

``````  |    A   |    B    |
1 | 2.0    | joe     |
2 | 3.0    | john    |
3 | 4.0    | joe     |
``````

The closest thing I could find is `VLOOKUP`, but this only searches for the key in the leftmost column of the range, and it only returns the first instance of a match. Essentially I need a function that will search either the entire range or the rightmost column of the range provided (e.g. A:B) for 'joe', and return the sum of the values in the column to the left of where the matches are found.

The function you need to use is the `QUERY`

``````=QUERY(B21:C23, "select sum(B) where C='joe' label sum(B) ''")
``````

TIP: Why do we use `label`?

The label clause is used to set the label for one or more columns.

You can use the SUMIF function

Syntax: `SUMIF(range, criterion, [sum_range])`

``````=SUMIF(B:B, "joe", A:A)
``````