EDATE Function – Google Sheets

The EDATE function and it's help text
EDATE Function

The EDATE function takes a starting date and a number as its input. It then increments (or decrements) the date by the number of months you specify and outputs the resultant date.

This formula can be helpful because not all months have the same number of days. Additionally, February has a different number of days depending on the year. The EDATE function accounts for all of these differences. If the number of months you provide has decimals, it is truncated instead of rounded so keep it as a whole number.

Dates require special care when used in formulas because they don’t behave as regular numbers in spreadsheets.

Video Explanation

Purpose

The EDATE function returns a date a given number of months away from a specified date.

Syntax

=EDATE(start_date,months)

  • start_date – The starting date from which the calculation begins. Remember how dates work in formulas so that you know how to enter this date.
  • months – The number of months by which to increase/decrease the starting month

Common Errors

#NUM! error – Result was not a number. This error occurs when the date resulting from the calculation is not valid. (=EDATE(1111111111111,13))

#VALUE error – Function EDATE parameter one expects number values. This happens when the start_date is not a valid date. (=EDATE("1/1/22222222",13)

#NAME – Unknown range name. This error results from a string being entered as the start_date without quotes. Sheets is looking for a named range called word, but it doesn’t exist. (=EDATE(word,13))

Related Functions

EOMONTH – Returns the end date of a month a specified number of months away from a starting date. 

MONTH – Returns the number of the month of a given date. (December = 12)

Examples

Example 1 – In the Same Month

Firstly, below is a simple explanation of the EDATE function.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=EDATE(“5/17/2017”,13)Add 13 months to 5/17/20176/17/2018
=EDATE(“5/17/2017”,-2)
Subtract two months from 5/17/2017
3/17/2017

The EDATE function can go forward and backward in time.

Example 2 – Knowing the Number of Days in a Month

Secondly, this example shows how the EDATE function knows the number of days each month. Consequently, knowing the number of days takes away the chore of manually adding the days.

Note that the second function is DATE and not EDATE.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=EDATE(“5/17/2017”,3)Add three months to 5/17/20178/17/2017
=DATE(2017,5,17)+31+30+31
Add three months to 5/17/2017
8/17/2017

Note how much easier it is to use the EDATE function.

Example 3 – Days in a Leap Year

Lastly, the EDATE function knows the number of days in a leap year. Note the two dates highlighted below that are one day different.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=EDATE(“2/17/2015”,1)Add 1 month to 2/17/20153/17/2015
=EDATE(“2/17/2016”,1)Add 1 month to 2/17/20163/17/2016
=DATE(2015,2,17)+28Add 28 days to 2/17/20153/17/2015
=DATE(2016,2,17)+28
Add 28 days to 2/17/2016
3/16/2016

Live Examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the EDATE function shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

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