TIME Formula


The Excel TIME formula is a time-based function. It allows you to create a time value by combining individual hour, minute, and second components.


The purpose of the TIME formula is to construct a time value using independent hour, minute, and second components. This function is useful for creating specific time values within your spreadsheets, enabling advanced Excel functions for data analysis and the use of Excel formulas for data analysis.


The syntax of the TIME formula is straightforward and takes three arguments:

TIME(hour, minute, second)


The TIME formula takes three parameters:

  1. hour – This is the hour component of the time you want to create.
  2. minute – This is the minute component of the time you want to create.
  3. second – This is the second component of the time you want to create.


The TIME formula returns a decimal number that represents a particular time in Excel’s time system, where 1 represents a full day, 0.5 stands for 12:00 Noon, 0.25 for 6:00 AM, etc.

Usage notes

While using the TIME formula, remember that Excel represents time as fractions of a day. So, the returned decimal number may be difficult to interpret at first. However, if you format the cell containing the formula as a time, Excel will display it correctly.


The TIME formula is available in all versions of Excel, including Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019, Excel 2021, and Office 365.

Example #1

Let’s start with a simple example:


This formula creates a time value representing 9:30:45 AM.

Example #2

The TIME formula can handle values beyond the normal range:


This formula returns a time value for 3:00:00 AM, as it adds the extra hours to the next day.

 Tips and tricks

The TIME formula can be highly useful when combined with other date and time formulas. Use it with formulas like HOUR, MINUTE, NOW, SECOND, etc., to perform advanced time calculations.


The TIME formula might return a decimal number, which could be confusing. Remember to format the cell as a time to correctly interpret the results.

Common errors and solutions

One common error with the TIME formula is supplying non-numeric values. Make sure all the inputs are numeric.

Best Practices

Always provide numeric values for the hour, minute, and second parameters. Use cell references to create dynamic time formulas.

List of Related functions

Here’s a list of related Excel functions that can be used with the TIME formula:

  1. HOUR – Extracts the hour from a time value.
  2. MINUTE – Extracts the minute from a time value.
  3. SECOND – Extracts the second from a time value.
  4. NOW – Returns the current date and time.
  5. TODAY – Returns the current date.

Frequently Used with the formulas

The TIME formula often goes hand in hand with:

  1. SUM – Summing up time values.
  2. AVERAGE – Finding average times.
  3. MAX/MIN – Finding the latest/earliest time in a range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can the TIME formula handle values beyond 24 hours, 60 minutes, or 60 seconds?

Yes, the TIME formula can handle such values.

Q. Can the TIME formula return a negative value?

Yes, if you supply negative values for the parameters, the formula will return a time on the previous day.

Q. How does the TIME formula handle non-numeric values?

If you supply non-numeric values, the TIME formula will return an error.

Q. Can the TIME formula handle fractional values?

Yes, fractional values are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Q. Can I combine the TIME formula with other formulas?

Absolutely, it’s often combined with other date and time functions.

In conclusion, the Excel TIME formula is a powerful tool that allows you to create specific time values from separate hour, minute, and second components. It’s versatile, simple to use, and a key part of any Excel user’s toolkit.

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