The SECOND function is a simple date function that returns the number of seconds from a given time. If you are working with times, but only care about the seconds, the SECOND function lets you get rid of everything else. Remember that dates are really just saved as numbers by your spreadsheet with date formatting applied.

Purpose

The SECOND function returns the number of seconds from any given unit of time.

Video Explanation

Syntax

=SECOND(time)

Examples

Example 1 – Plain and Simple

A few simple examples of the SECOND function.

Formula

Description

Result

=SECOND("2:20:20")

Extract the second value from 2:20:20.

20

=SECOND("1.2")

Extract the second value from 1.2.

0

=SECOND("2.22224545")

Extract the second value from 2.22224545.

2

Tip: Notice that the SECOND function returns a zero for 1.2. This is because .2 happens to be exactly 12 minutes. See how dates and times work to make a little sense out of this.

Example 2 - Separating the values of a date and time.

Different date values examined using various functions.

8 A blank cell is December 30, 1899. Similar to tickmark 5.

9 Typing a 1 increments the value in number 8 above by 1 day. In other words "1=12/31/1899". It is just a matter of how it is displayed which can be controlled by going to the Format menu and choosing Number.

10 Just a decimal with no whole number increments the value by hours, minutes and seconds instead of days.

11 To get near the present date, you need to start with 43,000 days away from 12/30/1899.

Live examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the YEAR, MONTH, DAY, HOUR, MINUTE, and SECOND functions shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.