somebody explain "contacts" on Android phones

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – On my Android phone* I have three sets of contacts: the SIM card, the phone itself, and Google(R). Can someone explain how all of these interact with each other? My previous phone was a park-it-pc with win-doze 6.1. I had all of my contacts on SIM, the phone, and whatever ActiveSync does. When I got my 'droid, I simply moved the SIM card and started using the phone. Now my contacts are all messed up as viewed at the phone. Also, I can copy SIM contacts to the phone and edit contacts only to have then vanish when I touch SAVE. Within the contacts app, I have the settings such that all of SIM (HowTos)