Summary vs. Summation

Difference Between Summary and Summation

The Summation and summary are two words in the English language that are often used as interchangeable words but there is a difference between the two.

The summary is to dispense with unnecessary things and present only what is necessary while summation totaling all that is available.

Summary is about ‘briefing’ while summation is used in the sense of ‘totaling’. The word ‘summary’ is often used in the formal sense. The chief accountant in an office would present the summary of accounts at the end of the year.

‘ Summation ‘ is mostly used in the mathematical sense. We find that expressions like ‘summation of activities’. On the other hand the word ‘summary’ means a brief account of anything.

‘A summary of the lesson’ would mean a brief account of some important points in the lesson ‘. ‘A summary of the event’ would mean a brief account of what really happened in a case ‘. Summation, on the other hand, leaves nothing. This is the grand total of all individual things.

Look at the two sentences given below:

1. Summarize the story.

2. The summation of all the charges was high indeed.

In the first sentence the word ‘summarize’ ‘ means ‘give important points’ while ‘summation’ in the second sentence would mean ‘the grand total of all charges paid’. The two words should be used with precision.


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