SECOND Function

Returns the second component of a time

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What is the SECOND Function?

The SECOND Function[1] is categorized under Excel DATE/TIME functions. The function returns the second component of a time as a number between 0-59. For example, it will return 49 for 1:19:49 PM.



The SECOND function uses only one argument:

Serial_number (required argument) – The time that contains the second we want to find.

The argument can be entered as:

  1. A decimal (serial number) representation of an Excel time
  2. A text representation of a time
  3. A reference to a cell containing a time
  4. A time value returned from another Excel function or formula

How to use the SECOND Function in Excel?

As a worksheet function, the SECOND function can be entered as part of a formula in a cell of a worksheet. To understand the uses of the function, let’s consider an example:


Let’s see how this function works using the following inputs:

SECOND Function

The results in Excel are shown in the screenshot below:

SECOND Function - Example

In case we get an error, we need to remember that Excel stores dates and times as serial numbers. For example, the date January 1, 2000, 12:00 PM is equal to the serial number 32526.5 in Excel. To check that Excel correctly recognizes a date or time, we can temporarily format the date as a number.

A few notes about the SECOND Function

  1. Time values are a portion of a date value and represented by a decimal number (for example, 12:00 PM is represented as 0.5 because it is half of a day).
  2. #VALUE! error – Occurs when the given serial_number is not a valid Excel time.

Click here to download the sample Excel file

Additional Resources

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