# How to use the MONTH Function in Excel

The MONTH function takes a valid excel date as an argument and returns the month number (1-12) of the date.
Syntax:

=MONTH (serial_number)

Serial_number : serial_number of date or valid excel date
Note: Date as a serial number must be a valid.

Here MONTH function returns the 8 when input is 23-Aug-2012 date.
August is the 8th month of the year. So the function returns 8.

Excel stores date as serial_number.

You can provide either serial number of date or a valid excel date as input.

As you can see, the function returns the same result for the date.

Now let’s get some different results for the different dates.

Notes:

1. For date 30-Mar-1899, the MONTH function returns an #VALUE error. This is because dates are serial numbers in Excel, and begin on January 1, 1900. Any date before January 1, 1900, is not recognised as a date. Hence the function returns an error.
2. Septembr, 25- 1965 is not a valid date format in excel. Hence we get an error again.
3. Empty cells as input to the function returns 1. So make sure to trap the result for the blank cell as shown below in the snapshot.

As you can see here we trapped the result for the blank cell using IF & ISBLANK function.
Hope you understood how to use the MONTH function and referring cell in Excel. Explore more articles on Excel Date & Time functions here. Please feel free to state your query or feedback for the above article.

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