Converting timestamp to time ago in PHP e.g 1 day ago, 2 days ago…

I am trying to convert a timestamp of the format 2009-09-12 20:57:19 and turn it into something like 3 minutes ago with PHP.

I found a useful script to do this, but I think it’s looking for a different format to be used as the time variable. The script I’m wanting to modify to work with this format is:

function _ago($tm,$rcs = 0) {
    $cur_tm = time(); 
    $dif = $cur_tm-$tm;
    $pds = array('second','minute','hour','day','week','month','year','decade');
    $lngh = array(1,60,3600,86400,604800,2630880,31570560,315705600);

    for($v = sizeof($lngh)-1; ($v >= 0)&&(($no = $dif/$lngh[$v])<=1); $v--); if($v < 0) $v = 0; $_tm = $cur_tm-($dif%$lngh[$v]);
        $no = floor($no);
        if($no <> 1)
            $pds[$v] .='s';
        $x = sprintf("%d %s ",$no,$pds[$v]);
        if(($rcs == 1)&&($v >= 1)&&(($cur_tm-$_tm) > 0))
            $x .= time_ago($_tm);
        return $x;
    }

I think on those first few lines the script is trying to do something that looks like this (different date format math):

$dif = 1252809479 - 2009-09-12 20:57:19;

How would I go about converting my timestamp into that (unix?) format?

Use example :

echo time_elapsed_string('2013-05-01 00:22:35');
echo time_elapsed_string('@1367367755'); # timestamp input
echo time_elapsed_string('2013-05-01 00:22:35', true);

Input can be any supported date and time format.

Output :

4 months ago
4 months ago
4 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 1 hour, 49 minutes, 15 seconds ago

Function :

function time_elapsed_string($datetime, $full = false) {
    $now = new DateTime;
    $ago = new DateTime($datetime);
    $diff = $now->diff($ago);

    $diff->w = floor($diff->d / 7);
    $diff->d -= $diff->w * 7;

    $string = array(
        'y' => 'year',
        'm' => 'month',
        'w' => 'week',
        'd' => 'day',
        'h' => 'hour',
        'i' => 'minute',
        's' => 'second',
    );
    foreach ($string as $k => &$v) {
        if ($diff->$k) {
            $v = $diff->$k . ' ' . $v . ($diff->$k > 1 ? 's' : '');
        } else {
            unset($string[$k]);
        }
    }

    if (!$full) $string = array_slice($string, 0, 1);
    return $string ? implode(', ', $string) . ' ago' : 'just now';
}

function time_elapsed_string($ptime)
{
    $etime = time() - $ptime;

    if ($etime < 1)
    {
        return '0 seconds';
    }

    $a = array( 365 * 24 * 60 * 60  =>  'year',
                 30 * 24 * 60 * 60  =>  'month',
                      24 * 60 * 60  =>  'day',
                           60 * 60  =>  'hour',
                                60  =>  'minute',
                                 1  =>  'second'
                );
    $a_plural = array( 'year'   => 'years',
                       'month'  => 'months',
                       'day'    => 'days',
                       'hour'   => 'hours',
                       'minute' => 'minutes',
                       'second' => 'seconds'
                );

    foreach ($a as $secs => $str)
    {
        $d = $etime / $secs;
        if ($d >= 1)
        {
            $r = round($d);
            return $r . ' ' . ($r > 1 ? $a_plural[$str] : $str) . ' ago';
        }
    }
}

$time_elapsed = timeAgo($time_ago); //The argument $time_ago is in timestamp (Y-m-d H:i:s)format.

//Function definition

function timeAgo($time_ago)
{
    $time_ago = strtotime($time_ago);
    $cur_time   = time();
    $time_elapsed   = $cur_time - $time_ago;
    $seconds    = $time_elapsed ;
    $minutes    = round($time_elapsed / 60 );
    $hours      = round($time_elapsed / 3600);
    $days       = round($time_elapsed / 86400 );
    $weeks      = round($time_elapsed / 604800);
    $months     = round($time_elapsed / 2600640 );
    $years      = round($time_elapsed / 31207680 );
    // Seconds
    if($seconds <= 60){
        return "just now";
    }
    //Minutes
    else if($minutes <=60){
        if($minutes==1){
            return "one minute ago";
        }
        else{
            return "$minutes minutes ago";
        }
    }
    //Hours
    else if($hours <=24){
        if($hours==1){
            return "an hour ago";
        }else{
            return "$hours hrs ago";
        }
    }
    //Days
    else if($days <= 7){
        if($days==1){
            return "yesterday";
        }else{
            return "$days days ago";
        }
    }
    //Weeks
    else if($weeks <= 4.3){
        if($weeks==1){
            return "a week ago";
        }else{
            return "$weeks weeks ago";
        }
    }
    //Months
    else if($months <=12){
        if($months==1){
            return "a month ago";
        }else{
            return "$months months ago";
        }
    }
    //Years
    else{
        if($years==1){
            return "one year ago";
        }else{
            return "$years years ago";
        }
    }
}

This is actually a better solution I’ve found. Uses jQuery however it works perfectly. Also it refreshes automatically similar to the way SO and Facebook does so you don’t have to refresh the page to see the updates.

This plugin will read your datetime attr in the <time> tag and fill it in for you.

e.g. "4 minutes ago" or "about 1 day ago

http://timeago.yarp.com/

I don’t know why nobody mention Carbon yet.

https://github.com/briannesbitt/Carbon

This is actually an extension to php dateTime (which was already used here) and it has: diffForHumans method. So all you need to do is:

$dt = Carbon::parse('2012-9-5 23:26:11.123789');
echo $dt->diffForHumans();

more examples: http://carbon.nesbot.com/docs/#api-humandiff

Pros of this solution:

  • it works for future dates and will return something like in 2 months etc.
  • you can use localization to get other languages and the pluralization works fine
  • if you will start using Carbon for other things working with dates will be as easy as never.
function humanTiming ($time)
        {

            $time = time() - $time; // to get the time since that moment
            $time = ($time<1)? 1 : $time;
            $tokens = array (
                31536000 => 'year',
                2592000 => 'month',
                604800 => 'week',
                86400 => 'day',
                3600 => 'hour',
                60 => 'minute',
                1 => 'second'
            );

            foreach ($tokens as $unit => $text) {
                if ($time < $unit) continue;
                $numberOfUnits = floor($time / $unit);
                return $numberOfUnits.' '.$text.(($numberOfUnits>1)?'s':'');
            }

        }

echo humanTiming( strtotime($mytimestring) );

I found results like the following ugly:

1 years, 2 months, 0 days, 0 hours, 53 minutes and 1 seconds

Because of that I realized a function that respects plurals, removes empty values and optionally it is possible to shorten the output:

function since($timestamp, $level=6) {
    global $lang;
    $date = new DateTime();
    $date->setTimestamp($timestamp);
    $date = $date->diff(new DateTime());
    // build array
    $since = array_combine(array('year', 'month', 'day', 'hour', 'minute', 'second'), explode(',', $date->format('%y,%m,%d,%h,%i,%s')));
    // remove empty date values
    $since = array_filter($since);
    // output only the first x date values
    $since = array_slice($since, 0, $level);
    // build string
    $last_key = key(array_slice($since, -1, 1, true));
    $string = '';
    foreach ($since as $key => $val) {
        // separator
        if ($string) {
            $string .= $key != $last_key ? ', ' : ' ' . $lang['and'] . ' ';
        }
        // set plural
        $key .= $val > 1 ? 's' : '';
        // add date value
        $string .= $val . ' ' . $lang[ $key ];
    }
    return $string;
}

Looks much better:

1 year, 2 months, 53 minutes and 1 second

Optionally use $level = 2 to shorten it as follows:

1 year and 2 months

Remove the $lang part if you need it only in English or edit this translation to fit your needs:

$lang = array(
    'second' => 'Sekunde',
    'seconds' => 'Sekunden',
    'minute' => 'Minute',
    'minutes' => 'Minuten',
    'hour' => 'Stunde',
    'hours' => 'Stunden',
    'day' => 'Tag',
    'days' => 'Tage',
    'month' => 'Monat',
    'months' => 'Monate',
    'year' => 'Jahr',
    'years' => 'Jahre',
    'and' => 'und',
);

I modified the original function a bit to be (in my opinion more useful, or logical).

// display "X time" ago, $rcs is precision depth
function time_ago ($tm, $rcs = 0) {
  $cur_tm = time(); 
  $dif = $cur_tm - $tm;
  $pds = array('second','minute','hour','day','week','month','year','decade');
  $lngh = array(1,60,3600,86400,604800,2630880,31570560,315705600);

  for ($v = count($lngh) - 1; ($v >= 0) && (($no = $dif / $lngh[$v]) <= 1); $v--);
    if ($v < 0)
      $v = 0;
  $_tm = $cur_tm - ($dif % $lngh[$v]);

  $no = ($rcs ? floor($no) : round($no)); // if last denomination, round

  if ($no != 1)
    $pds[$v] .= 's';
  $x = $no . ' ' . $pds[$v];

  if (($rcs > 0) && ($v >= 1))
    $x .= ' ' . $this->time_ago($_tm, $rcs - 1);

  return $x;
}

i made this and it’s working just fine it’s working for both unix timestamp like 1470919932 or formatted time like 16-08-11 14:53:30

function timeAgo($time_ago) {
    $time_ago =  strtotime($time_ago) ? strtotime($time_ago) : $time_ago;
    $time  = time() - $time_ago;

switch($time):
// seconds
case $time <= 60;
return 'lessthan a minute ago';
// minutes
case $time >= 60 && $time < 3600;
return (round($time/60) == 1) ? 'a minute' : round($time/60).' minutes ago';
// hours
case $time >= 3600 && $time < 86400;
return (round($time/3600) == 1) ? 'a hour ago' : round($time/3600).' hours ago';
// days
case $time >= 86400 && $time < 604800;
return (round($time/86400) == 1) ? 'a day ago' : round($time/86400).' days ago';
// weeks
case $time >= 604800 && $time < 2600640;
return (round($time/604800) == 1) ? 'a week ago' : round($time/604800).' weeks ago';
// months
case $time >= 2600640 && $time < 31207680;
return (round($time/2600640) == 1) ? 'a month ago' : round($time/2600640).' months ago';
// years
case $time >= 31207680;
return (round($time/31207680) == 1) ? 'a year ago' : round($time/31207680).' years ago' ;

endswitch;
}

?>

Just to throw in another option…

Whilst I prefer the DateTime method posting here, I didn’t like the fact it displayed 0 years etc.

/* 
 * Returns a string stating how long ago this happened
 */

private function timeElapsedString($ptime){
    $diff = time() - $ptime;
    $calc_times = array();
    $timeleft   = array();

    // Prepare array, depending on the output we want to get.
    $calc_times[] = array('Year',   'Years',   31557600);
    $calc_times[] = array('Month',  'Months',  2592000);
    $calc_times[] = array('Day',    'Days',    86400);
    $calc_times[] = array('Hour',   'Hours',   3600);
    $calc_times[] = array('Minute', 'Minutes', 60);
    $calc_times[] = array('Second', 'Seconds', 1);

    foreach ($calc_times AS $timedata){
        list($time_sing, $time_plur, $offset) = $timedata;

        if ($diff >= $offset){
            $left = floor($diff / $offset);
            $diff -= ($left * $offset);
            $timeleft[] = "{$left} " . ($left == 1 ? $time_sing : $time_plur);
        }
    }

    return $timeleft ? (time() > $ptime ? null : '-') . implode(' ', $timeleft) : 0;
}

I usually use this to find out difference between current and passed datetime stamp

OUTPUT

//If difference is greater than 7 days
7 June 2019

// if difference is greater than 24 hours and less than 7 days
1 days ago
6 days ago

1 hour ago
23 hours ago

1 minute ago
58 minutes ago

1 second ago
20 seconds ago

CODE

//return current date time
function getCurrentDateTime(){
    //date_default_timezone_set("Asia/Calcutta");
    return date("Y-m-d H:i:s");
}
function getDateString($date){
    $dateArray = date_parse_from_format('Y/m/d', $date);
    $monthName = DateTime::createFromFormat('!m', $dateArray['month'])->format('F');
    return $dateArray['day'] . " " . $monthName  . " " . $dateArray['year'];
}

function getDateTimeDifferenceString($datetime){
    $currentDateTime = new DateTime(getCurrentDateTime());
    $passedDateTime = new DateTime($datetime);
    $interval = $currentDateTime->diff($passedDateTime);
    //$elapsed = $interval->format('%y years %m months %a days %h hours %i minutes %s seconds');
    $day = $interval->format('%a');
    $hour = $interval->format('%h');
    $min = $interval->format('%i');
    $seconds = $interval->format('%s');

    if($day > 7)
        return getDateString($datetime);
    else if($day >= 1 && $day <= 7 ){
        if($day == 1) return $day . " day ago";
        return $day . " days ago";
    }else if($hour >= 1 && $hour <= 24){
        if($hour == 1) return $hour . " hour ago";
        return $hour . " hours ago";
    }else if($min >= 1 && $min <= 60){
        if($min == 1) return $min . " minute ago";
        return $min . " minutes ago";
    }else if($seconds >= 1 && $seconds <= 60){
        if($seconds == 1) return $seconds . " second ago";
        return $seconds . " seconds ago";
    }
}

it help you check it

   function calculate_time_span($seconds)
{  
 $year = floor($seconds /31556926);
$months = floor($seconds /2629743);
$week=floor($seconds /604800);
$day = floor($seconds /86400); 
$hours = floor($seconds / 3600);
 $mins = floor(($seconds - ($hours*3600)) / 60); 
$secs = floor($seconds % 60);
 if($seconds < 60) $time = $secs." seconds ago";
 else if($seconds < 3600 ) $time =($mins==1)?$mins."now":$mins." mins ago";
 else if($seconds < 86400) $time = ($hours==1)?$hours." hour ago":$hours." hours ago";
 else if($seconds < 604800) $time = ($day==1)?$day." day ago":$day." days ago";
 else if($seconds < 2629743) $time = ($week==1)?$week." week ago":$week." weeks ago";
 else if($seconds < 31556926) $time =($months==1)? $months." month ago":$months." months ago";
 else $time = ($year==1)? $year." year ago":$year." years ago";
return $time; 
}  
  $seconds = time() - strtotime($post->post_date); 
echo calculate_time_span($seconds); 

Try this, I found it from my old codes, which shows the correct Result

function ago($datefrom, $dateto = -1) {
    // Defaults and assume if 0 is passed in that
    // its an error rather than the epoch

    if ($datefrom == 0) {
        return "A long time ago";
    }
    if ($dateto == -1) {
        $dateto = time();
    }

    // Make the entered date into Unix timestamp from MySQL datetime field

    $datefrom = strtotime($datefrom);

    // Calculate the difference in seconds betweeen
    // the two timestamps

    $difference = $dateto - $datefrom;

    // Based on the interval, determine the
    // number of units between the two dates
    // From this point on, you would be hard
    // pushed telling the difference between
    // this function and DateDiff. If the $datediff
    // returned is 1, be sure to return the singular
    // of the unit, e.g. 'day' rather 'days'

    switch (true) {
        // If difference is less than 60 seconds,
        // seconds is a good interval of choice
        case(strtotime('-1 min', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $datediff = $difference;
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? $datediff . ' second' : $datediff . ' seconds';
            break;
        // If difference is between 60 seconds and
        // 60 minutes, minutes is a good interval
        case(strtotime('-1 hour', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $datediff = floor($difference / 60);
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? $datediff . ' minute' : $datediff . ' minutes';
            break;
        // If difference is between 1 hour and 24 hours
        // hours is a good interval
        case(strtotime('-1 day', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $datediff = floor($difference / 60 / 60);
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? $datediff . ' hour' : $datediff . ' hours';
            break;
        // If difference is between 1 day and 7 days
        // days is a good interval                
        case(strtotime('-1 week', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $day_difference = 1;
            while (strtotime('-' . $day_difference . ' day', $dateto) >= $datefrom) {
                $day_difference++;
            }

            $datediff = $day_difference;
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? 'yesterday' : $datediff . ' days';
            break;
        // If difference is between 1 week and 30 days
        // weeks is a good interval            
        case(strtotime('-1 month', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $week_difference = 1;
            while (strtotime('-' . $week_difference . ' week', $dateto) >= $datefrom) {
                $week_difference++;
            }

            $datediff = $week_difference;
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? 'last week' : $datediff . ' weeks';
            break;
        // If difference is between 30 days and 365 days
        // months is a good interval, again, the same thing
        // applies, if the 29th February happens to exist
        // between your 2 dates, the function will return
        // the 'incorrect' value for a day
        case(strtotime('-1 year', $dateto) < $datefrom):
            $months_difference = 1;
            while (strtotime('-' . $months_difference . ' month', $dateto) >= $datefrom) {
                $months_difference++;
            }

            $datediff = $months_difference;
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? $datediff . ' month' : $datediff . ' months';

            break;
        // If difference is greater than or equal to 365
        // days, return year. This will be incorrect if
        // for example, you call the function on the 28th April
        // 2008 passing in 29th April 2007. It will return
        // 1 year ago when in actual fact (yawn!) not quite
        // a year has gone by
        case(strtotime('-1 year', $dateto) >= $datefrom):
            $year_difference = 1;
            while (strtotime('-' . $year_difference . ' year', $dateto) >= $datefrom) {
                $year_difference++;
            }

            $datediff = $year_difference;
            $res = ($datediff == 1) ? $datediff . ' year' : $datediff . ' years';
            break;
    }
    return $res;
}

Example: echo ago('2020-06-03 00:14:21 AM');

Output: 6 days

I’m aware that there are several answers here, but this is what I came up with. This only handles MySQL DATETIME values as per the original question I was responding to. The array $a needs some work. I welcome comments on how to improve. Call as:

echo time_elapsed_string(‘2014-11-14 09:42:28’);

function time_elapsed_string($ptime)
{
    // Past time as MySQL DATETIME value
    $ptime = strtotime($ptime);

    // Current time as MySQL DATETIME value
    $csqltime = date('Y-m-d H:i:s');

    // Current time as Unix timestamp
    $ctime = strtotime($csqltime); 

    // Elapsed time
    $etime = $ctime - $ptime;

    // If no elapsed time, return 0
    if ($etime < 1){
        return '0 seconds';
    }

    $a = array( 365 * 24 * 60 * 60  =>  'year',
                 30 * 24 * 60 * 60  =>  'month',
                      24 * 60 * 60  =>  'day',
                           60 * 60  =>  'hour',
                                60  =>  'minute',
                                 1  =>  'second'
    );

    $a_plural = array( 'year'   => 'years',
                       'month'  => 'months',
                       'day'    => 'days',
                       'hour'   => 'hours',
                       'minute' => 'minutes',
                       'second' => 'seconds'
    );

    foreach ($a as $secs => $str){
        // Divide elapsed time by seconds
        $d = $etime / $secs;
        if ($d >= 1){
            // Round to the next lowest integer 
            $r = floor($d);
            // Calculate time to remove from elapsed time
            $rtime = $r * $secs;
            // Recalculate and store elapsed time for next loop
            if(($etime - $rtime)  < 0){
                $etime -= ($r - 1) * $secs;
            }
            else{
                $etime -= $rtime;
            }
            // Create string to return
            $estring = $estring . $r . ' ' . ($r > 1 ? $a_plural[$str] : $str) . ' ';
        }
    }
    return $estring . ' ago';
}

I tried this and works fine for me

$datetime1 = new DateTime('2009-10-11');
$datetime2 = new DateTime('2009-10-10');
$difference = $datetime1->diff($datetime2);
echo formatOutput($difference);

function formatOutput($diff){
    /* function to return the highrst defference fount */
    if(!is_object($diff)){
        return;
    }

    if($diff->y > 0){
        return $diff->y .(" year".($diff->y > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }

    if($diff->m > 0){
        return $diff->m .(" month".($diff->m > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }

    if($diff->d > 0){
        return $diff->d .(" day".($diff->d > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }

    if($diff->h > 0){
        return $diff->h .(" hour".($diff->h > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }

    if($diff->i > 0){
        return $diff->i .(" minute".($diff->i > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }

    if($diff->s > 0){
        return $diff->s .(" second".($diff->s > 1?"s":"")." ago");
    }
}

Check this link for reference here

Thanks! and have fun.

This is what I went with. Its a modified version of Abbbas khan’s post:

<?php

  function calculate_time_span($post_time)
  {  
  $seconds = time() - strtotime($post);
  $year = floor($seconds /31556926);
  $months = floor($seconds /2629743);
  $week=floor($seconds /604800);
  $day = floor($seconds /86400); 
  $hours = floor($seconds / 3600);
  $mins = floor(($seconds - ($hours*3600)) / 60); 
  $secs = floor($seconds % 60);
  if($seconds < 60) $time = $secs." seconds ago";
  else if($seconds < 3600 ) $time =($mins==1)?$mins."now":$mins." mins ago";
  else if($seconds < 86400) $time = ($hours==1)?$hours." hour ago":$hours." hours ago";
  else if($seconds < 604800) $time = ($day==1)?$day." day ago":$day." days ago";
  else if($seconds < 2629743) $time = ($week==1)?$week." week ago":$week." weeks ago";
  else if($seconds < 31556926) $time =($months==1)? $months." month ago":$months." months ago";
  else $time = ($year==1)? $year." year ago":$year." years ago";
  return $time; 
  }  



 // uses
 // $post_time="2017-12-05 02:05:12";
 // echo calculate_time_span($post_time); 

Many solutions here did not account for rounding. For example:

Event happened at 3pm two days ago. If you are checking at 2pm, it will show one day ago. If you are checking at 4pm it will show two days ago.

If you are working with unix time, this helps:

// how long since event has passed in seconds
$secs = time() - $time_ago;

// how many seconds in a day
$sec_per_day = 60*60*24;

// days elapsed
$days_elapsed = floor($secs / $sec_per_day);

// how many seconds passed today
$today_seconds = date('G')*3600 + date('i') * 60 + date('s');

// how many seconds passed in the final day calculation
$remain_seconds = $secs % $sec_per_day;

if($today_seconds < $remain_seconds)
{
    $days_elapsed++;
}

echo 'The event was '.$days_ago.' days ago.';

It is not perfect if you are worried about leap seconds and daylight savings time.

You’ll have to take each individual piece of your timestamp, and convert it into Unix time. For example for the timestamp, 2009-09-12 20:57:19.

(((2008-1970)*365)+(8*30)+12)*24+20 would give you a ROUGH estimate of the hours since January 1st, 1970.

Take that number, multiply by 60 and add 57 to get the minutes.

Take that, multiply by 60 and add 19.

That would convert it very roughly and inaccurately however.

Is there any reason you can’t just take the normal Unix time to begin with?

There is some issue with some language display time ago for example in Arabic there 3 needed formats to display date.
I use this functions in my projects hopefully they can help someone (any suggestion or improvement I’ll be apperciate 🙂 )

/**
 *
 * @param   string $date1 
 * @param   string $date2 the date that you want to compare with $date1
 * @param   int $level  
 * @param   bool $absolute  
 */

function app_date_diff( $date1, $date2, $level = 3, $absolute = false ) {

    $date1 = date_create($date1);   
    $date2 = date_create($date2);
    $diff = date_diff( $date1, $date2, $absolute );

    $d = [
        'invert' => $diff->invert
    ];  

    $diffs = [
        'y' => $diff->y, 
        'm' => $diff->m, 
        'd' => $diff->d
    ];

    $level_reached = 0;

    foreach($diffs as $k=>$v) {

        if($level_reached >= $level) {
            break;
        }

        if($v > 0) {
            $d[$k] = $v;
            $level_reached++;
        }

    }

    return  $d;

}

/**
 * 
 */

function date_timestring( $periods, $format="latin", $separator="," ) {

    $formats = [
        'latin' => [
            'y' => ['year','years'],
            'm' => ['month','months'],
            'd' => ['day','days']
        ],
        'arabic' => [
            'y' => ['سنة','سنتين','سنوات'],
            'm' => ['شهر','شهرين','شهور'],
            'd' => ['يوم','يومين','أيام']
        ]
    ];

    $formats = $formats[$format];

    $string = [];

    foreach($periods as $period=>$value) {

        if(!isset($formats[$period])) {
            continue;
        }

        $string[$period] = $value.' ';
        if($format == 'arabic') {
            if($value == 2) {
                $string[$period] = $formats[$period][1];
            }elseif($value > 2 && $value <= 10) {
                $string[$period] .= $formats[$period][2];
            }else{
                $string[$period] .= $formats[$period][0];
            }

        }elseif($format == 'latin') {
            $string[$period] .= ($value > 1) ? $formats[$period][1] : $formats[$period][0];
        }

    }

    return implode($separator, $string);


}

function timeago( $date ) {

    $today = date('Y-m-d h:i:s');

    $diff = app_date_diff($date,$today,2);

    if($diff['invert'] == 1) {
        return '';
    }

    unset($diff[0]);

    $date_timestring = date_timestring($diff,'latin');

    return 'About '.$date_timestring;

}

$date1 = date('Y-m-d');
$date2 = '2018-05-14';

$diff = timeago($date2);
echo $diff;

If you are using PostgreSQL then it will do the job for you:

const DT_SQL = <<<SQL
WITH lapse AS (SELECT (?::timestamp(0) - now()::timestamp(0))::text t)
SELECT CASE
  WHEN (select t from lapse) ~ '^s*-' THEN replace((select t from lapse), '-', '') ||' ago' 
  ELSE (select t from lapse) END;
SQL;

function timeSpanText($ts, $conn)
// $ts: date-time string, $conn: PostgreSQL PDO connection
{
 return $conn -> prepare(DT_SQL) -> execute([ts]) -> fetchColumn();
}

To directly answer the question… you can use…

strtotime()

https://www.php.net/manual/en/function.strtotime.php

$dif = time() - strtotime("2009-09-12 20:57:19");

E.G:

echo round(((( time() - strtotime("2021-08-01 21:57:50") )/60)/60)/24).' day(s) ago';

Result: 1 day(s) ago

$time_ago = ' ';
$time = time() - $time; // to get the time since that moment
$tokens = array (
31536000 => 'year',2592000 => 'month',604800 => 'week',86400 => 'day',3600 => 'hour',
60  => 'minute',1 => 'second');
foreach ($tokens as $unit => $text) {
if ($time < $unit)continue;
$numberOfUnits = floor($time / $unit);
$time_ago = ' '.$time_ago. $numberOfUnits.' '.$text.(($numberOfUnits>1)?'s':'').'  ';
$time = $time % $unit;}echo $time_ago;

Here is my solution please check and modify according your requirements

function getHowLongAgo($date, $display = array('Year', 'Month', 'Day', 'Hour', 'Minute', 'Second'), $ago = '') {
        date_default_timezone_set('Australia/Sydney');
        $timestamp = strtotime($date);
        $timestamp = (int) $timestamp;
        $current_time = time();
        $diff = $current_time - $timestamp;

        //intervals in seconds
        $intervals = array(
            'year' => 31556926, 'month' => 2629744, 'week' => 604800, 'day' => 86400, 'hour' => 3600, 'minute' => 60
        );

        //now we just find the difference
        if ($diff == 0) {
            return ' Just now ';
        }

        if ($diff < 60) {
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' second ago ' : $diff . ' seconds ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= 60 && $diff < $intervals['hour']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['minute']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' minute ago ' : $diff . ' minutes ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= $intervals['hour'] && $diff < $intervals['day']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['hour']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' hour ago ' : $diff . ' hours ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= $intervals['day'] && $diff < $intervals['week']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['day']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' day ago ' : $diff . ' days ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= $intervals['week'] && $diff < $intervals['month']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['week']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' week ago ' : $diff . ' weeks ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= $intervals['month'] && $diff < $intervals['year']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['month']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' month ago ' : $diff . ' months ago ';
        }

        if ($diff >= $intervals['year']) {
            $diff = floor($diff / $intervals['year']);
            return $diff == 1 ? $diff . ' year ago ' : $diff . ' years ago ';
        }
    }

Thanks

# This function prints the difference between two php datetime objects
# in a more human readable form
# inputs should be like strtotime($date)
function humanizeDateDiffference($now,$otherDate=null,$offset=null){
    if($otherDate != null){
        $offset = $now - $otherDate;
    }
    if($offset != null){
        $deltaS = $offset%60;
        $offset /= 60;
        $deltaM = $offset%60;
        $offset /= 60;
        $deltaH = $offset%24;
        $offset /= 24;
        $deltaD = ($offset > 1)?ceil($offset):$offset;      
    } else{
        throw new Exception("Must supply otherdate or offset (from now)");
    }
    if($deltaD > 1){
        if($deltaD > 365){
            $years = ceil($deltaD/365);
            if($years ==1){
                return "last year"; 
            } else{
                return "<br>$years years ago";
            }   
        }
        if($deltaD > 6){
            return date('d-M',strtotime("$deltaD days ago"));
        }       
        return "$deltaD days ago";
    }
    if($deltaD == 1){
        return "Yesterday";
    }
    if($deltaH == 1){
        return "last hour";
    }
    if($deltaM == 1){
        return "last minute";
    }
    if($deltaH > 0){
        return $deltaH." hours ago";
    }
    if($deltaM > 0){
        return $deltaM." minutes ago";
    }
    else{
        return "few seconds ago";
    }
}

This function is not made to be used for the English language. I translated the words in English. This needs more fixing before using for English.

function ago($d) {
$ts = time() - strtotime(str_replace("-","https://stackoverflow.com/",$d));

        if($ts>315360000) $val = round($ts/31536000,0).' year';
        else if($ts>94608000) $val = round($ts/31536000,0).' years';
        else if($ts>63072000) $val=" two years";
        else if($ts>31536000) $val=" a year";

        else if($ts>24192000) $val = round($ts/2419200,0).' month';
        else if($ts>7257600) $val = round($ts/2419200,0).' months';
        else if($ts>4838400) $val=" two months";
        else if($ts>2419200) $val=" a month";


        else if($ts>6048000) $val = round($ts/604800,0).' week';
        else if($ts>1814400) $val = round($ts/604800,0).' weeks';
        else if($ts>1209600) $val=" two weeks";
        else if($ts>604800) $val=" a week";

        else if($ts>864000) $val = round($ts/86400,0).' day';
        else if($ts>259200) $val = round($ts/86400,0).' days';
        else if($ts>172800) $val=" two days";
        else if($ts>86400) $val=" a day";

        else if($ts>36000) $val = round($ts/3600,0).' year';
        else if($ts>10800) $val = round($ts/3600,0).' years';
        else if($ts>7200) $val=" two years";
        else if($ts>3600) $val=" a year";

        else if($ts>600) $val = round($ts/60,0).' minute';
        else if($ts>180) $val = round($ts/60,0).' minutes';
        else if($ts>120) $val=" two minutes";
        else if($ts>60) $val=" a minute";

        else if($ts>10) $val = round($ts,0).' second';
        else if($ts>2) $val = round($ts,0).' seconds';
        else if($ts>1) $val=" two seconds";
        else $val = $ts.' a second';


        return $val;
    }

Use of:

echo elapsed_time('2016-05-09 17:00:00'); // 18 saat 8 dakika önce yazıldı.

Function:

function elapsed_time($time){// Nekadar zaman geçmiş

        $diff = time() - strtotime($time); 

        $sec = $diff;
        $min = floor($diff/60);
        $hour = floor($diff/(60*60));
        $hour_min = floor($min - ($hour*60));
        $day = floor($diff/(60*60*24));
        $day_hour = floor($hour - ($day*24));
        $week = floor($diff/(60*60*24*7));
        $mon = floor($diff/(60*60*24*7*4));
        $year = floor($diff/(60*60*24*7*4*12));

        //difference calculate to string
        if($sec < (60*5)){
            return 'şimdi yazıldı.';
        }elseif($min < 60){
            return 'biraz önce yazıldı.';
        }elseif($hour < 24){
            return $hour.' saat '.$hour_min.' dakika önce yazıldı.';
        }elseif($day < 7){
            if($day_hour!=0){$day_hour=$day_hour.' saat ';}else{$day_hour="";}
            return $day.' gün '.$day_hour.'önce yazıldı.';
        }elseif($week < 4){
            return $week.' hafta önce yazıldı.';
        }elseif($mon < 12){
            return $mon.' ay önce yazıldı.';
        }else{
            return $year.' yıl önce yazıldı.';
        }
    }

Slightly modified answer from above:

  $commentTime = strtotime($whatever)
  $today       = strtotime('today');
  $yesterday   = strtotime('yesterday');
  $todaysHours = strtotime('now') - strtotime('today');

private function timeElapsedString(
    $commentTime,
    $todaysHours,
    $today,
    $yesterday
) {
    $tokens = array(
        31536000 => 'year',
        2592000 => 'month',
        604800 => 'week',
        86400 => 'day',
        3600 => 'hour',
        60 => 'minute',
        1 => 'second'
    );
    $time = time() - $commentTime;
    $time = ($time < 1) ? 1 : $time;
    if ($commentTime >= $today || $commentTime < $yesterday) {
        foreach ($tokens as $unit => $text) {
            if ($time < $unit) {
                continue;
            }
            if ($text == 'day') {
                $numberOfUnits = floor(($time - $todaysHours) / $unit) + 1;
            } else {
                $numberOfUnits = floor(($time)/ $unit);
            }
            return $numberOfUnits . ' ' . $text . (($numberOfUnits > 1) ? 's' : '') . ' ago';
        }
    } else {
        return 'Yesterday';
    }
}

The following is a very simple and extremely efficient solution.

function timeElapsed($originalTime){

        $timeElapsed=time()-$originalTime;

        /*
          You can change the values of the following 2 variables 
          based on your opinion. For 100% accuracy, you can call
          php's cal_days_in_month() and do some additional coding
          using the values you get for each month. After all the
          coding, your final answer will be approximately equal to
          mine. That is why it is okay to simply use the average
          values below.
        */
        $averageNumbDaysPerMonth=(365.242/12);
        $averageNumbWeeksPerMonth=($averageNumbDaysPerMonth/7);

        $time1=(((($timeElapsed/60)/60)/24)/365.242);
        $time2=floor($time1);//Years
        $time3=($time1-$time2)*(365.242);
        $time4=($time3/$averageNumbDaysPerMonth);
        $time5=floor($time4);//Months
        $time6=($time4-$time5)*$averageNumbWeeksPerMonth;
        $time7=floor($time6);//Weeks
        $time8=($time6-$time7)*7;
        $time9=floor($time8);//Days
        $time10=($time8-$time9)*24;
        $time11=floor($time10);//Hours
        $time12=($time10-$time11)*60;
        $time13=floor($time12);//Minutes
        $time14=($time12-$time13)*60;
        $time15=round($time14);//Seconds

        $timeElapsed=$time2 . 'yrs ' . $time5 . 'months ' . $time7 . 
                     'weeks ' . $time9 .  'days ' . $time11 . 'hrs '
                     . $time13 . 'mins and ' . $time15 . 'secs.';

        return $timeElapsed;

}

echo timeElapsed(1201570814);

Sample output:

6yrs 4months 3weeks 4days 12hrs 40mins and 36secs.

Here’s my solution for a notification module I built some time ago. It returns output similar to Facebook’s notifications dropdown (eg. 1 day ago, Just now, etc).

public function getTimeDifference($time) {
    //Let's set the current time
    $currentTime = date('Y-m-d H:i:s');
    $toTime = strtotime($currentTime);

    //And the time the notification was set
    $fromTime = strtotime($time);

    //Now calc the difference between the two
    $timeDiff = floor(abs($toTime - $fromTime) / 60);

    //Now we need find out whether or not the time difference needs to be in
    //minutes, hours, or days
    if ($timeDiff < 2) {
        $timeDiff = "Just now";
    } elseif ($timeDiff > 2 && $timeDiff < 60) {
        $timeDiff = floor(abs($timeDiff)) . " minutes ago";
    } elseif ($timeDiff > 60 && $timeDiff < 120) {
        $timeDiff = floor(abs($timeDiff / 60)) . " hour ago";
    } elseif ($timeDiff < 1440) {
        $timeDiff = floor(abs($timeDiff / 60)) . " hours ago";
    } elseif ($timeDiff > 1440 && $timeDiff < 2880) {
        $timeDiff = floor(abs($timeDiff / 1440)) . " day ago";
    } elseif ($timeDiff > 2880) {
        $timeDiff = floor(abs($timeDiff / 1440)) . " days ago";
    }

    return $timeDiff;
}

just pass the date time to this func. it would print out in time ago format for you

date_default_timezone_set('your-time-zone');
function convert($datetime){
  $time=strtotime($datetime);
  $diff=time()-$time;
  $diff/=60;
  $var1=floor($diff);
  $var=$var1<=1 ? 'min' : 'mins';
  if($diff>=60){
    $diff/=60;
    $var1=floor($diff);
    $var=$var1<=1 ? 'hr' : 'hrs';
    if($diff>=24){$diff/=24;$var1=floor($diff);$var=$var1<=1 ? 'day' : 'days';
    if($diff>=30.4375){$diff/=30.4375;$var1=floor($diff);$var=$var1<=1 ? 'month' : 'months';
    if($diff>=12){$diff/=12;$var1=floor($diff);$var=$var1<=1 ? 'year' : 'years';}}}}
    echo $var1,' ',$var,' ago';
  }

Leave a Comment