The Excel **TIME** function is a *Date & Time* formula that calculates and returns the serial time value based on the specified hour, minute, and second values. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use the Excel **TIME **function and also go over some tips and error handling methods.

## Supported versions

- All Excel versions

## Excel TIME Function Syntax

## Arguments

hour |
The numeric value for hours, from 0 (zero) to 32767 |

minute |
The numeric value for minutes |

second |
The numeric value for seconds |

## Excel TIME Function Examples

### Basic use case

Each argument of the Excel **TIME** function is required to get the time value. In a typical use case, you need to enter the integer values for **hour, minute,** and** second **arguments. For example, to generate a time serial value for *11:08:32*, you can use the following formula:

### Other use cases

Another common way of using the Excel TIME function is for finding the values between known limits for the arguments. While the **hour** can be between *0 and 23*, the **minute** and the **second** can be anywhere between *0 and 59*. These numbers are natural limits for a time value on the 24-hour-system. However, you can override these limits by using negative, or larger numbers.

When Excel detects a number larger than the natural limits, e.g. 75 for **minute**, it adds the difference to the next time argument, which would be **hour** in this case.

For example, the following formula returns the serial value for time 2:15:45

In the same manner, negative numbers are subtracted from the larger number when used for any of the arguments. For example, if you enter *-85* into the **second** argument, Excel subtracts that value from the **minute** and **hour**, if necessary.

## Tips

- Excel stores date and time as numbers. Excel assumes that the date 1/1/1900 is “1″, and increases this number by 1 for each day. In a similar pattern, the time values can be between 0 and 0.999999999. For example; 6:00 AM is equal to 25. Because of this, the Excel
**TIME**function returns a number that is displayed as a time value. - You can use negative values, unless the return value would give a negative value.

## Issues

- The
**TIME**function returns*#NUM!*error, if return value is negative.