Difference Wiki

Add vs. Append: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 2, 2023
Add means to join or combine; append specifically means to attach or place at the end.

Key Differences

Add refers to the general act of combining or joining one thing to another, while append specifically suggests attaching something at the end of something else.
Add is a more general term and can refer to the mathematical process of joining numbers as well as combining elements, whereas append is often used in the context of writing or speaking, to indicate something attached after the main part.
Add can take place in any order in a sequence or a mixture, but append always suggests a sequential addition, often with the connotation that the appended item is less important or an afterthought.
Add implies a sense of totality where two or more items are combined to form a whole, but append suggests a supplement to something already whole.
Adding can result in a change of nature or function of the original item(s), for example adding ingredients to a recipe changes the flavor; appending, on the other hand, tends to leave the original largely unchanged, such as appending a postscript to a letter.

Comparison Chart


Combine or join together
Attach to the end


General usage, mathematics
Writing, data structures


Any sequence
Always at the end

Change to Original

Can change the original
Usually leaves original unchanged


To increase or enhance
To supplement or extend

Add and Append Definitions


To say something further.
He added that he was going to be late.


To add as a supplement.
She appended a note to her application.


To combine or join together.
Add the onions to the soup.


To attach at the end.
Append the disclaimer to the document.


To include extra.
Add some pepper for extra flavor.


To provide additional or supporting data.
The raw data were appended to the research paper.


To perform addition in mathematics.
If you add 4 and 5, you get 9.


To extend with a further detail.
Append your signature here.


To increase in amount.
This will add to our expenses.


To add on to the end of a communication.
He appended a P.S. to his letter.


To join or combine (numbers) through addition
If you add 5 and 10 and 17, the result is 32. If you add 6 to 8, you get 14.


To add as a supplement or appendix
Appended a list of errors to the report.


Is append used in everyday language?

Yes, but it's more common in written contexts.

Can add be used in mathematics?

Yes, add is a fundamental operation in mathematics.

Can you append something in the middle of a text?

No, appending is strictly adding at the end.

Does appending affect the structure of the main body?

Generally, no, it just extends it.

What does it mean to add something?

To add is to combine one thing with another.

What does append mean in computing?

In computing, append means to add data to the end of a file.

Does adding change the original item?

It can, depending on what is being added.

Can add and append be used interchangeably?

Not always, since append is more specific to adding at the end.

What does "add to cart" mean?

It means to include an item in your virtual shopping cart.

Is append a common word?

It's less common than add and more formal.

Is appending always physical, like in a document?

No, it can also be figurative, like adding information to a discussion.

What is meant by append in email?

It means to add something at the end of an email, like a signature or postscript.

Can you add a chapter to a book?

Yes, but it's more common to say append a chapter when it's at the end.

Are add-ons related to the verb add?

Yes, they're additional items or features you can combine with a primary product.

Can you append a file to another?

Yes, meaning to attach it at the end of the other file.

Can add mean to increase numerically?

Yes, like adding to a total.

Can append be used in math?

Not typically, it's more for ordered structures like text.

Do appendices come from the verb append?

Yes, they're materials added at the end of a book or document.

Can we add someone to a conversation?

Yes, that means to include them in the discussion.

Is adding a sequential process?

Not necessarily, as it doesn't imply a sequence like appending does.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons