The Excel MONTH Function

Basic Description

The Excel MONTH function, returns an integer, representing the month (from 1 - 12) of a supplied date.

The syntax of the function is:

MONTH( serial_number )

where the serial_number argument is the date that you want to return the month of.

Note that Excel recommends that dates should be supplied to functions as either:

  • Serial numbers;
  • Reference to cells containing dates;
  • Date values returned from other Excel formulas.
If you attempt to input dates as text, there is a risk that Excel may misinterpret them, due to different date systems, or date interpretation settings on your computer.

Month Function Examples

Column B of the following spreadsheet shows the Excel Month function, used to extract the month from three different dates.

129-May-2016=MONTH( A1 )
205-Mar-1984=MONTH( A2 )
3 =MONTH( DATE(2015, 7, 1) )
3 7

Further examples of the Excel Month function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.

Excel Month Function Common Problem

Common Problem:

The result of your Month function looks like a date (e.g. "01/01/1900"), instead of returning an integer.


This problem is most likely to be because the new cell or column is formatted as a 'date'. In this case, it is only the formatting of the cell that is wrong, NOT the value returned by the function.

The easiest way to do correct this is to select the General formatting option from the drop-down format menu of the Excel ribbon. This is generally located in the 'Number' group, on the Home tab of the ribbon (see below):

Excel Format Cells Drop Down Menu on Ribbon With General Option Selected

See the Excel Formatting page for more information on formatting in Excel.