# Time Duration Calculator

This **time duration calculator** allows you to calculate the duration between two times. It accepts either **two elapsed times** or **two clock times**, where it supports both the **12-hour** and **24-hour** time of day formats. The calculator correctly handles time durations that **span midnight**. As a bonus, this article shows you how to calculate time duration **manually**, making sure you have a firm understanding of the maths behind the calculator.

**After you've finished** using this calculator, you might also be interested in our day counter calculator or finding the number of days between two dates.

## What is time?

Simplistically, **time** is the 4th dimension in our Universe, along with the three spatial dimensions of length, width, and height. You could say that time exists so that **everything doesn't happen at once**. A universe **without time** wouldn't be a particularly exciting place to live. Time provides **separation of events** and allows **cause and effect** to be determined. So that's time sorted, right? Err, no. Not really. Physicists and philosophers are still debating the exact nature of time and how it behaves to this very day.

Fortunately for us, as long as we measure two times in the **same inertial frame of reference** (a little bit of relativity there), our time duration calculator will work just fine, without knowing exactly what time is.

## How to use the elapsed time calculator?

The **elapsed time calculator** is in the first part of the calculator, found at the top. Enter a **start time** and an **end time**, and you will see the **duration** between those two times. By default, you can enter the times in hours, minutes, and seconds. However, if you **click on the units**, you can select **other time units** to suit your needs.

Note that you can **enter any two times** in this section of the calculator (as long as the **end elapsed time** is **more** than the **start elapsed time**), and there are no restrictions imposed by the 12- or 24-hour time formats. Though if you *are* interested in the **duration between two clock times**, the next section of the calculator is just for you.

## How to use the clock time calculator?

The second section of the calculator is a **clock time calculator**. This calculator helps work out the duration between **two times** during a **single day**, or **overnight**. You can choose to either work with the **12-hour** clock format (the one we most use in everyday life) or the **24-hour** format (which you might encounter when booking a flight, for example). Here's how you use the clock time duration calculator:

- Select either the
**12-hour**or**24-hour**time formats. - Enter the
**start clock time**, giving the**hour**,**minute**, and optionally**second**. If you are using the 12-hour clock, don't forget to select whether it is**am**(in the morning) or**pm**(afternoon/evening). - Then do the same for the
**end clock time**. The calculator supports time durations that start on one day and end the next day. So you could find the time duration from**8 pm**until**5 am**the next morning. - The
**time duration calculator result**will be shown as the number of hours, minutes, and seconds between the two times. If you want to see the result in another time unit (e.g., just in seconds),**click on the units**to display the dropdown menu.

If you need to calculate time durations for a whole week at work, then our time card calculator might be worth checking out.

## How to calculate time duration manually?

Let's take some time to discuss how to do these time duration calculations **manually**. The same principles apply to both the elapsed time calculator and the clock time calculator (though for the clock time calculator, if you are using the **12-hour** time format, the first thing to do is to convert it to the **24-hour** format. The solution is simply a case of **adding 12 hours** to any **pm times**!).

We will first study the example of calculating the time duration between **8:13 am** and **4:55 pm**. So we first convert the pm time to the 24-hour format:

`4:55 pm => 4 + 12 = 16 => 16:55`

We can then write down the two times the same way you would do a **manual math subtraction**:

```
16:55
```

-8:13

-----

8:41

Then calculate the difference in hours and minutes separately. In this example, the result for the number of hours is `16 - 8 = 8 hours`

, and for the number of minutes, it is `55 - 14 = 41 minutes`

.

Next, let's look at a more complicated example. How about **8:13 am** until **4:07 pm**? We convert the pm time to 24-hour clock format as before and write down the subtraction:

```
16:07
```

-8:13

------

8:-06 ??? Not a valid time.

On this occasion, however, if we try to do the **subtraction** on the minutes' column, we would end up with **minus 6**. In this case, we need to convert **an hour** from the **hours' column** to **60 minutes** in the **minutes' column** so we can get a **positive value** for the **time difference**. Here is what the new manual subtraction looks like:

```
15:67
```

-8:13

-----

7:54

So **16 hours** became **15 hours**, and **7 minutes** became **67 minutes**, when we added the 60 minutes, carried over from the hours' column. Now we can do the subtraction for the hours `16 - 8 = 7 hours`

and minutes `67 - 13 = 54 minutes`

as before. This same **carryover method** can be used if we also had a **seconds' column**.

Finally, if you want to calculate a time difference **from one day to the next**, you would need to **add a day column** and **carryover 24 hours** (as it is a day in the future), adding it to the hours column of the first time. For example, to find the duration between **4:07 pm** until **8:13 am** the next morning, you would do:

```
1 day 8:13 -> 32:13
```

-0 day 16:07 -16:07

------------ ------

16:06

So for some clock times, calculating the duration between two times is a little tricky, so it might be **better to use our calculator instead**!