date

(PHP 3, PHP 4, PHP 5)

date -- Format a local time/date

Description

string date ( string format [, int timestamp] )

Returns a string formatted according to the given format string using the given integer timestamp or the current time if no timestamp is given. In other words, timestamp is optional and defaults to the value of time().

Parameters

format

The format of the outputted date string. See the formatting options below.

Table 1. The following characters are recognized in the format parameter string

format characterDescriptionExample returned values
Day------
dDay of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros01 to 31
DA textual representation of a day, three lettersMon through Sun
jDay of the month without leading zeros1 to 31
l (lowercase 'L')A full textual representation of the day of the weekSunday through Saturday
NISO-8601 numeric representation of the day of the week (added in PHP 5.1.0)1 (for Monday) through 7 (for Sunday)
SEnglish ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters st, nd, rd or th. Works well with j
wNumeric representation of the day of the week0 (for Sunday) through 6 (for Saturday)
zThe day of the year (starting from 0)0 through 365
Week------
WISO-8601 week number of year, weeks starting on Monday (added in PHP 4.1.0)Example: 42 (the 42nd week in the year)
Month------
FA full textual representation of a month, such as January or MarchJanuary through December
mNumeric representation of a month, with leading zeros01 through 12
MA short textual representation of a month, three lettersJan through Dec
nNumeric representation of a month, without leading zeros1 through 12
tNumber of days in the given month28 through 31
Year------
LWhether it's a leap year1 if it is a leap year, 0 otherwise.
oISO-8601 year number. This has the same value as Y, except that if the ISO week number (W) belongs to the previous or next year, that year is used instead. (added in PHP 5.1.0)Examples: 1999 or 2003
YA full numeric representation of a year, 4 digitsExamples: 1999 or 2003
yA two digit representation of a yearExamples: 99 or 03
Time------
aLowercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiemam or pm
AUppercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiemAM or PM
BSwatch Internet time000 through 999
g12-hour format of an hour without leading zeros1 through 12
G24-hour format of an hour without leading zeros0 through 23
h12-hour format of an hour with leading zeros01 through 12
H24-hour format of an hour with leading zeros00 through 23
iMinutes with leading zeros00 to 59
sSeconds, with leading zeros00 through 59
Timezone------
eTimezone identifier (added in PHP 5.1.0)Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores
I (capital i)Whether or not the date is in daylight saving time1 if Daylight Saving Time, 0 otherwise.
ODifference to Greenwich time (GMT) in hoursExample: +0200
PDifference to Greenwich time (GMT) with colon between hours and minutes (added in PHP 5.1.3)Example: +02:00
TTimezone abbreviationExamples: EST, MDT ...
ZTimezone offset in seconds. The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive.-43200 through 50400
Full Date/Time------
cISO 8601 date (added in PHP 5)2004-02-12T15:19:21+00:00
rRFC 2822 formatted dateExample: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200
USeconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT)See also time()

Unrecognized characters in the format string will be printed as-is. The Z format will always return 0 when using gmdate().

timestamp

The optional timestamp parameter is an integer Unix timestamp that defaults to the current local time if a timestamp is not given. In other words, it defaults to the value of time().

Return Values

Returns a formatted date string. If a non-numeric value is used for timestamp, FALSE is returned and an E_WARNING level error is emitted.

Errors/Exceptions

Every call to a date/time function will generate a E_NOTICE if the time zone is not valid, and/or a E_STRICT message if using the system settings or the TZ environment variable. See also date_default_timezone_set()

ChangeLog

VersionDescription
5.1.0 The valid range of a timestamp is typically from Fri, 13 Dec 1901 20:45:54 GMT to Tue, 19 Jan 2038 03:14:07 GMT. (These are the dates that correspond to the minimum and maximum values for a 32-bit signed integer). However, before PHP 5.1.0 this range was limited from 01-01-1970 to 19-01-2038 on some systems (e.g. Windows).
5.1.0

Now issues the E_STRICT and E_NOTICE time zone errors.

5.1.1 There are useful constants of standard date/time formats that can be used to specify the format parameter.

Examples

Example 1. date() examples

<?php
// set the default timezone to use. Available since PHP 5.1
date_default_timezone_set('UTC');


// Prints something like: Monday
echo date("l");

// Prints something like: Monday 15th of August 2005 03:12:46 PM
echo date('l dS \of F Y h:i:s A');

// Prints: July 1, 2000 is on a Saturday
echo "July 1, 2000 is on a " . date("l", mktime(0, 0, 0, 7, 1, 2000));

/* use the constants in the format parameter */
// prints something like: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:12:46 UTC
echo date(DATE_RFC822);

// prints something like: 2000-07-01T00:00:00+00:00
echo date(DATE_ATOM, mktime(0, 0, 0, 7, 1, 2000));
?>

You can prevent a recognized character in the format string from being expanded by escaping it with a preceding backslash. If the character with a backslash is already a special sequence, you may need to also escape the backslash.

Example 2. Escaping characters in date()

<?php
// prints something like: Wednesday the 15th
echo date("l \\t\h\e jS");
?>

It is possible to use date() and mktime() together to find dates in the future or the past.

Example 3. date() and mktime() example

<?php
$tomorrow  
= mktime(0, 0, 0, date("m")  , date("d")+1, date("Y"));
$lastmonth = mktime(0, 0, 0, date("m")-1, date("d"),   date("Y"));
$nextyear  = mktime(0, 0, 0, date("m"),   date("d"),   date("Y")+1);
?>

Note: This can be more reliable than simply adding or subtracting the number of seconds in a day or month to a timestamp because of daylight saving time.

Some examples of date() formatting. Note that you should escape any other characters, as any which currently have a special meaning will produce undesirable results, and other characters may be assigned meaning in future PHP versions. When escaping, be sure to use single quotes to prevent characters like \n from becoming newlines.

Example 4. date() Formatting

<?php
// Assuming today is: March 10th, 2001, 5:16:18 pm

$today = date("F j, Y, g:i a");                 // March 10, 2001, 5:16 pm
$today = date("m.d.y");                         // 03.10.01
$today = date("j, n, Y");                       // 10, 3, 2001
$today = date("Ymd");                           // 20010310
$today = date('h-i-s, j-m-y, it is w Day z ');  // 05-16-17, 10-03-01, 1631 1618 6 Fripm01
$today = date('\i\t \i\s \t\h\e jS \d\a\y.');   // It is the 10th day.
$today = date("D M j G:i:s T Y");               // Sat Mar 10 15:16:08 MST 2001
$today = date('H:m:s \m \i\s\ \m\o\n\t\h');     // 17:03:17 m is month
$today = date("H:i:s");                         // 17:16:17
?>

To format dates in other languages, you should use the setlocale() and strftime() functions instead of date().

Notes

Note: To generate a timestamp from a string representation of the date, you may be able to use strtotime(). Additionally, some databases have functions to convert their date formats into timestamps (such as MySQL's UNIX_TIMESTAMP function).

Tip: Timestamp of the start of the request is available in $_SERVER['REQUEST_TIME'] since PHP 5.1.

See Also

getlastmod()
gmdate()
mktime()
strftime()
time()