What Is the Data Type for Time in SQL?


Angela Bailey

What Is the Data Type for Time in SQL?

In SQL, the data type for representing time values is called TIME. The TIME data type is used to store time values such as hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. It does not include date information.

Creating a TIME Column

To create a column with the TIME data type in a SQL table, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name TIME

Inserting Time Values

To insert time values into a TIME column, you need to follow a specific format: HH:MM:SS, where HH represents hours in 24-hour format (00-23), MM represents minutes (00-59), and SS represents seconds (00-59).

INSERT INTO table_name (column_name) VALUES ('12:30:45');
INSERT INTO table_name (column_name) VALUES ('08:15:00');
INSERT INTO table_name (column_name) VALUES ('23:59:59');

Retrieving Time Values

To retrieve time values from a TIME column, you can use the SELECT statement. The returned result will be in the format ‘HH:MM:SS’.

SELECT column_name FROM table_name;

Working with Time Functions

In addition to storing and retrieving time values, SQL provides several useful functions for manipulating time:


  • Returns the current system time.
  • Syntax:


  • Returns a specific part of a time value (e.g., hour, minute, second).
  • Syntax:
    • DATEPART(part, time_value)


  • Adds or subtracts a specific time interval from a given time value.
  • Syntax:
    • DATEADD(interval, number, time_value)


The TIME data type in SQL allows you to store and manipulate time values effectively. By understanding the syntax for creating columns with the TIME data type and using the appropriate functions, you can work with time-related data efficiently in your SQL queries.

Remember to make proper use of the TIME data type when designing your database schema and consider the specific requirements of your application to ensure accurate and meaningful time representation.

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