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Date and timE

EDATE Function

Returns the serial number of the date that is the indicated number of months before or after the start date

by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

The EDATE and the DATE functions both can be used to find the date that's some months before or after the start date. But the two functions perform differently in critical ways.



  • start_date Required. The starting date serial number.

  • months Required. The number of months before or after the start_date. Use a negative number to indicate months prior to the start_date. Whole numbers are required, as illustrated in Examples 11 and 12.

Applies To

Excel 2007 and above.


Both the EDATE and the DATE functions offer the ability to add months to or subtract months from a Start Date. However, if the Start Date is near the end of a month, the DATE function can return unexpected the following examples illustrate.

Additionally, Examples 19-22 illustrate that EDATE's 'months' argument is truncated to a while number. Therefore, you can't used it to add, say, half of a month.

Examples of Excel's EDATE function.

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