The Excel MONTH Function

Basic Description

The Excel MONTH function, returns the month from a supplied date. This is returned as an integer (from 1 - 12).

The syntax of the Month 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 in text format, there is a risk that Excel may misinterpret them, due to different date systems, or date interpretation settings on your computer.

Month Function Examples

In the following spreadsheet, the month function is used to extract the month from 3 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 can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Excel Month Function Common Problem

Common Problem:

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


Most commonly, this problem arises 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.

To correct this:

  • Highlight the cell(s) containing the result;
  • Right click with the mouse;
  • Select the Format Cells ... option and ensure the Number tab is selected;
  • Under the Category heading, select the option General and click OK.

- Read more about Excel Formatting here