While working with Excel, we are able to determine the value for seconds of any given time by using the **SECOND **function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in the usage and syntax of the SECOND function.

*Figure 1. Final result: Excel SECOND function*

**Syntax of the SECOND Function**

SECOND returns an integer that represents the value for seconds of any given time; value ranges from 0 to 59

**=SECOND(serial_number)**

**serial_number**– the time whose seconds value we want to find; time may be entered as decimal numbers, text strings within quotation marks, formulas or cell reference to a value of time- The argument
*serial_number*may also be a value representing a combination of date and time; time values are represented by a decimal number corresponding to its portion relative to one day (for example, 6:00 AM is represented as 0.25, since it is 1/4 of a day)

**Setting up our Data**

Our data consists of two columns: Time (column B) and Result (column C). We want to extract the seconds component of the time in column B. The results will be recorded in column C.

* Figure 2. Sample data to extract the seconds component of time*

**Extract the seconds component of time**

In order to determine the value for seconds of any given time by using the SECOND function, let us follow these steps:

**Step 1**. Select cell C3

**Step 2**. Enter the formula: `=SECOND(B3)`

**Step 3**. Press ENTER

As a result, the value in cell **C3** is “**20**”, because the seconds component of the time **1:30:20 AM** in B3 is “20”.

* Figure 3. Using SECOND function to extract the seconds component of time*

In the same way, when we enter a different time as the argument in our SECOND function, we will obtain the seconds component only. Let us take another example:

**Step 1**. Select cell C4

**Step 2**. Enter the formula: `=SECOND(B4)`

**Step 3**. Press ENTER

The time in B4 is 1:30:00 AM, although it is in the format *hh:mm AM*. The result in cell **C4** is zero “**0**”, because the seconds component of **1:30 AM** in B4 is “0”.

* Figure 4. SECOND function extracting the seconds component of time in hh:mm format*

**Extract the seconds component given a date and time**

The SECOND function is able to extract the seconds component of time, even when the argument is a combination of date and time. Let us follow these steps:

**Step 1**. Select cell C5

**Step 2**. Enter the formula: `=SECOND(B5)`

**Step 3**. Press ENTER

SECOND function completely disregards other components and returns only the value for seconds. As a result, the value in cell **C5** is “**46**”, from the given time of 14:05:46.

* Figure 5. Output: SECOND function extracting the seconds component of time*

**Notes: **

- The extracted value returned by the SECOND function can be used as input to other functions such as the TIME function
- In cases where only the date is given, and there’s no time, the SECOND function returns the value zero “0”

* Figure 6. Output: SECOND function returns “0” if there’s no time in argument*

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