You can use the following syntax to extract the first two words from a cell in Google Sheets:

=LEFT(A2,FIND("*",SUBSTITUTE(A2," ","*",2))-1)

This particular formula will extract the first two words from the string in cell **A2**.

The following example shows how to use this syntax in practice.

**Example: Extract First Two Words from Cell in Google Sheets**

Suppose we have the following list of phrases in Google Sheets:

Suppose that we would like to extract the first two words from each cell.

We can type the following formula into cell **B2** to do so:

=LEFT(A2,FIND("*",SUBSTITUTE(A2," ","*",2))-1)

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column B:

Column B now contains the first two words from each corresponding string in column A.

Note that the formula works no matter how long the string or phrase is in any given cell.

**How This Formula Works**

Recall the formula that we used to extract the first two words from cell **A2**:

=LEFT(A2,FIND("*",SUBSTITUTE(A2," ","*",2))-1)

Here is how this formula works:

First, we use **SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,“*”,2)** to replace the second space in the string in cell A2 with an asterisk (*****).

Next, we use the **FIND** function to find the position of the asterisk in the string.

This represents the position just after the second word in the string.

Then, we subtract one from this location.

Lastly, we use the **LEFT** function to extract all text to the left of this final location.

The end result is that we’re able to extract the first two words from the string in cell **A2**.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in Google Sheets:

Google Sheets: How to COUNTIF Not Equal to Text

Google Sheets: Filter for Cells that Do Not Contain Text

Google Sheets: How to Reverse a Text String