A library that calculates the time difference between two dates and returns the result in words (Example: 5 minutes ago or 5 Minutes left). The library supports other languages aswell like Spanish and German.

1.5.13 2023-06-03 02:15 UTC

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Last update: 2024-06-07 02:00:49 UTC


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RelativeTime is a lightweight and easy to use library that helps you calculate the time difference between two dates and returns the result in words (like, 5 minutes ago or 5 minutes left). The library supports other languages as well like Spanish, PortugueseBR, French, Czech, Russian, SimplifiedChinese, Swedish and German

It uses the standard \DateTime() and \DateInterval() classes found in modern PHP versions. For more information, please read the Usage section of this README.


  • PHP >= 5.3 (Tested only on PHP +7.3)


Install with Composer

If you're using Composer to manage dependencies, you can use this library by creating a composer.json file and adding this:

    "require": {
        "mpratt/relativetime": "~1.0"

Save it and run composer.phar install

Standalone Installation (without Composer)

Download the latest release or clone this repository, place the Lib/RelativeTime directory somewhere in your project. Afterwards, you only need to include the included Autoload.php file.

    require '/path/to/RelativeTime/Autoload.php';

    use RelativeTime\RelativeTime;

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime();

Or if you already have PSR-0 compliant autoloader, you just need to register RelativeTime:

    $loader->registerNamespace('RelativeTime', 'path/to/RelativeTime');


Most of the times you are going to need the convert($fromDate, $toDate) method.

    use RelativeTime\RelativeTime;

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime();
    echo $relativeTime->convert('2010-09-05', '2010-03-30');
    // 5 months, 6 days ago

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime();
    echo $relativeTime->convert('2012-03-05', '2013/02/05');
    // 11 months left

There are 2 other useful methods timeAgo($date) and timeLeft($date), that calculate the time since/until the current date/time.

    use RelativeTime\RelativeTime;

    // Asumming Today is the 2013-09-23 17:23:47

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime();
    echo $relativeTime->timeAgo('2012-08-29 06:00');
    // 1 year, 25 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes, 13 seconds ago

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime();
    echo $relativeTime->timeLeft('2013-10-31 01:00:05');
    // 1 month, 7 days, 2 hours, 36 minutes, 52 seconds left

Configuration Options

The main object accepts an array with configuration directives

    use RelativeTime\RelativeTime;

    $config = array(
        'language' => '\RelativeTime\Languages\English',
        'separator' => ', ',
        'suffix' => true,
        'truncate' => 0,
        'use_weeks' => false,

    $relativeTime = new RelativeTime($config);
Directive Definition
language The language to be used, for example English, Spanish, PortugueseBR, French, Czech, Russian, SimplifiedChinese, Swedish or German are supported. Even The instantiated object is allowed, as in new \RelativeTime\Languages\English()
separator The separator between time units. , by default.
truncate The number of units you want to display. By default it displays all of the available ones.
suffix Whether or not to append the .... ago or ..... left
use_weeks By default is set to false. When set to true it will include week numbers too.


Michael Pratt - - See also the list of contributors which participated in this project.

If you like this library, it has been useful to you and want to support me, you can do it via paypal.

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RelativeTime is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details