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Conversion of time units

This site deals with the different time units, and how they are converted and combined.

List of the time units

These are the most common time units:

Time unitEquivalent in smaller unit
A common year365 days
Leap year366 days
Day24 hours
Hour60 minutes
Minutes60 seconds
Seconds1000 milliseconds


There are a lot of additional special units like, for instance, the tropical year. The tropical year is 365.24219 days, which is equivalent to:

365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds

The tropical year is the exact time it takes the Earth to travel around the Sun.

Conversion between time units

When you want to convert between time units, it’s a good thing to keep their equivalences in your mind.
Let’s say you want to convert 3 days to hours. You know that one day is equivalent to 24 hours.
You can then calculate how many hours there are in 3 days:

3*24=72

3 days are equivalent to 72 hours.

Now you want to convert 3 days to minutes.
First you have to convert the days to hours, and then convert from hours to minutes.

From days to hours:

3*24=72

From hours to minutes:

72*60=4320

So 3 days are equivalent to 4320 minutes.


When you want to convert from smaller units to bigger units you have to divide instead of multiply.

Example:
You want to convert 2880 minutes to days.
First you convert from minutes to hours, and then from hours to days.

From minutes to hours:

2880:60=48

2880 minutes are equivalent to 48 hours.

From hours to days:

48:24=2

48 hours are equivalent to 2 days.

So 2880 minutes are equivalent to 2 days.


Combined conversion

Instead of doing the conversion in several steps like in the examples above, you can combine the conversions to one more simple conversion.

Let’s take a look at the example above, where we want to convert 3 days to minutes.
Now we make all conversion in one calculation:

3*(24*60)=4320 minutes

We multiply 24 by 60, because there are 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour.

The calculation in the other example above, where we want to convert 2880 minutes to days, could be written like this instead:

2880:(24*60)=2 days

When you do the conversion in this simple way, make sure not to forget any of the conversion steps.

Conversion of time units

From time unit: 
Amount of time: 
To time unit: 

Combination of time units

Sometimes it’s practical to express a given amount of time with a combination of units (like 5 days, 2 hours and 3 minutes).
The calculation might be a bit more difficult, because it involves division with remainders.

If you, for instance, want to convert an amount of time from minutes to days, the first thing you do is to find out how many full hours and remaining minutes the number of minutes is equivalent to. Then you find the number of full days and the remaining hours.

Example
You want to convert 5120 minutes to days, hours and minutes.

Conversion to full hours and remaining minutes:
Since one hour is 60 minutes, the number of full hours is:

5120:60=85, with a remainder of 20 minutes.

The 5120 minutes are now converted to 85 hours and 20 minutes.

Conversion to full days and remaining hours and minutes:
Now we calculate how many full days the 85 hours are equivalent to.
Since on day is 24 hours, the number of full days is:

85:24=3, with a remainder of 13 hours

The 85 hours are now converted to 3 days and 13 hours.

So the 5120 minutes are equivalent to 3 days, 13 hours and 20 minutes.