Article updated on March 17, 2018

The DATE function returns a number that acts as a date in the Excel environment. The image above shows you the DATE function in column E. It uses three arguments, the first argument is the year found in column B.

The second argument is the month, shown in column C. Note that you need to use a number for the month.

The third argument is the day of the month, displayed in column D. Make sure you enter the correct day for the month, keep in mind most months have 30 days or 31 days. February has 28 days except for leap years that have 29 days.

Excel function syntax

DATE(year, month, day)


year - A number equal or higher than 1900

month - A number between 1 (January) and 12 (December)

day - A number between 1 and 31


If you use a month number larger than 12, for example 13, DATE(2009,13,1) the DATE function returns 1/1/2010. Month number zero returns the previous month.

The same thing happens with a day number that is larger than 31 or smaller than 1.

You can use that to do dynamic date series or do date based calculations.