# DATE function

Returns the sequential serial number that represents a particular date.

The DATE function is most useful in formulas where year, month, and day are formulas, not constants.

## Syntax

DATE(year,month,day)

Argument

Description

Remarks

year

A number that represents the year. The year argument can be one to four digits.

• Excel interprets the year argument according to the date system you are using. By default, Excel uses the 1900 date systemExcel stores and calculates dates as sequential numbers. In the default date system, January 1, 1900, is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008, is serial number 39448 (because it comes 39,447 days after January 1, 1900)..

month

A number that represents the month of the year.

• If month is greater than 12, month adds that number of months to the first month in the year specified. For example, =DATE(2008,14,2) returns the serial number that represents February 2, 2009.

day

A number that represents the day of the month.

• If day is greater than the number of days in the month specified, day adds that number of days to the first day in the month. For example, =DATE(2008,1,35) returns the serial number that represents February 4, 2008.

## General remarks

• Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers so they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,448 days after January 1, 1900.

• If the cell format was General before the function was entered, the result changes the cell formatting to Date.To view the result as a serial number, select the cell, and then on the View menu, click Formatting Palette. Under Number, on the Format pop-up menu, click Number.

## Example

To make the following example easier to understand, you can copy the data to a blank sheet and then enter the function underneath the data. Do not select the row or column headings (1, 2, 3... A, B, C...) when you copy the sample data to a blank sheet.

 1 2
 A B C Year Month Day 2008 1 1 Formula Description (Result) =DATE(A2,B2,C2) Serial number for the date derived by using cells A2, B2, and C2 as the arguments for the DATE function, and using the 1900 date system. (1/1/2008 or 39448)
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