# DATE function: Description, Usage, Syntax, Examples and Explanation

## What is DATE function in Excel?

## Syntax of DATE function

The syntax for the DATE function in Microsoft Excel is:

DATE( year, month, day )

## DATE formula explanation

**Year:**A number that is between one and four digits that represents the year.**Month:**A number representing the month value. If the*month*value is greater than 12, then every 12 months will add 1 year to the*year*value. This means that DATE(2016,13,4) is equal to DATE(2017,1,4) and DATE(2016,25,4) is equal to DATE(2018,1,4) … and so on.**Day:**A number representing the day value. If the*day*value is greater than the number of days in the month specified, then the appropriate number of months will be added to the*month*value.

## Returns

The DATE function returns a serial date value. A serial date is how Excel stores dates internally and it represents the number of days since January 1, 1900.

If the *year* is greater than 9999, the DATE function will return the #NUM! error.

## Note

- If the
*year*is between 0 and 1899, the year value is added to 1900 to determine the year. - If the
*year*is between 1900 and 9999, the DATE function uses the year value as the year.

## Examples of DATE function

The example illustrated below shows DATE function result as an unformatted serial date in column D and column E show you the result as a formatted date in `mm/d/yyyy`

.

Based on the Excel spreadsheet above, the following DATE examples would return:

=DATE(A3,B3,C3)Result:42613 'Which can be formatted as"8/31/2016"=DATE(A4,B4,C4)Result:42551 'Which can be formatted as"6/30/2016"=DATE(A5,B5,C5)Result:42373 'Which can be formatted as"1/4/2016"=DATE(A6,B6,C6)Result:42739 'Which can be formatted as"1/4/2017"

Notice in the last example `=DATE(B6,B6,C6)`

that the month value is 13 and larger than 12. In this example, 1 would be added to the year making it 2017. And the remainder of 1 would used as the month value.