# Excel MONTH Function

Use the MONTH function to extract the month from a specified date in Excel. See multiple examples and get step-by-step instructions below.

These instructions apply to Excel 2016, 2013, 2010, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel for Microsoft 365, and Excel Online.

## ​MONTH Function's Syntax and Arguments

A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, and arguments.

The syntax for the MONTH function is:

Serial_number (required) is a number representing the date from which the month is extracted. This number can be:

• serial number representing a date. See row 6 in the example above.
• cell reference to the worksheet location of a date. See row 4 in the example.
• A date entered as the function's argument using the DATE function. See row 6 in the example.
• The current date entered as the function's argument using the TODAY or NOW functions. See row 7 in the example.

Serial Numbers

Excel stores dates as sequential numbers, or serial numbers, so they can be used in calculations. Each day the number increases by one. Partial days are entered as fractions of a day, such as 0.25 for one-quarter of a day (six hours) and 0.5 for half a day (12 hours).

Naming a Month Example

The examples in the image above display a variety of uses for the MONTH function, including combining it with the CHOOSE function in a formula to return the name of the month from the date located in cell A1.

Here's how the formula works:

1. The MONTH function extracts the number of the month from the date in cell A1.
2. The CHOOSE function returns the month name from the list of names entered as the Value argument for that function.

As shown in cell B9, the final formula looks like this:

## Enter the CHOOSE/MONTH Function

Options for entering the function and its arguments include:

• Typing the complete function into a worksheet cell.
• Selecting the function and its arguments using the CHOOSE function dialog box.

It is possible to just type the complete function in manually. In Excel Online, which does not have the Formulas tab, you must use this method.

You may find it easier to use the dialog box. With the function dialog box, the correct syntax for the function, such as the quotation marks surrounding each month name and the comma separators between them, are entered correctly.

Since the MONTH function is nested inside CHOOSE, the CHOOSE function dialog box is used and MONTH is entered as the Index_num argument.

This example returns the short form name for each month. To have the formula return the full month name, such as January rather than Jan or February instead of Feb, enter the full month name for the Value arguments in the steps below.

The steps for entering the formula are:

1. Select the cell where you want the formula results to display. For our example, select cell A9.
2. Select the Formulas tab.
3. Choose Lookup and Reference in the Function Library group.
4. Select CHOOSE in the list to bring up the function's dialog box.
5. Select the Index_num line in the dialog box.
6. Type MONTH(A1) on this line of the dialog box.
7. Place the cursor in the Value1 line in the dialog box.
8. Type Jan on this line for January.
9. Place the cursor in the Value2 line.
10. Type Feb.
11. Continue entering the names for each month on separate lines in the dialog box.
12. When all month names have been entered, select OK to complete the function and close the dialog box.

The name May appears in the worksheet cell where the formula is located since May is the month entered into cell A1 (5/4/2016).

When you select cell A9, the complete function appears in the formula bar above the worksheet.

In Excel Online:

1. Select the cell where you want the formula results display. For example, cell A9.
2. Select Insert > Function. Alternatively, select Insert Function next to the formula bar.
3. Choose Lookup and Reference in the Pick a Category drop-down list.
4. Select Choose.
5. Select OK.
6. Type MONTH(A1) for the  Index_num argument.
7. Type Jan for January in the Value1 argument space.
8. Type Feb in the Value2 argument space.
9. Continue entering the names for each month.
10. When all month names have been entered, press Enter to complete the function.

The name May appears in the worksheet cell where the formula is located since May is the month entered into cell A1 (5/4/2016).

When you select cell A9, the complete function appears in the formula bar above the worksheet: