Published Aug 23, 2021Updated Sep 3, 2021
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The DATETIME() function returns the entire time string which includes the date and time portions (YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss)


SELECT DATETIME('2020-09-01 17:38:22');
-- 2020-09-01 17:38:22

To obtain the current date and time, you can provide the string 'now' to the function, which returns the date and time in UTC.

-- 2022-01-01 00:00:00

To obtain the date and time converted to your local timezone, you can provide a modifier localtime.

SELECT DATETIME('now', 'localtime');
-- 2022-01-01 02:00:00


Shift Dates

The following modifiers can be used to shift the date backwards to a specified part of the date.

  • start of year: shifts the date to the beginning of the current year.
  • start of month: shifts the date to the beginning of the current month.
  • start of day: shifts the date to the beginning of the current day.


The following modifiers add a specified amount to the date and time of the time string.

  • '+-N years': offsets the year
  • '+-N months': offsets the month
  • '+-N days': offsets the day
  • '+-N hours': offsets the hour
  • '+-N minutes': offsets the minute
  • '+-N seconds': offsets the second

Example 1

For example, suppose there’s a bodega table with the following data:

order_id item price quantity order_date
1 Donut 2.49 2 2022-08-16 08:04:23
2 Cookie 0.99 3 2022-08-16 09:43:00
3 Donut 2.49 1 2022-08-16 11:25:12
4 Egg Sandwich 7.99 1 2022-08-17 11:45:41
5 Ice Coffee 3.99 2 2022-08-17 12:18:50
FROM bodega;

This would return the time for the order_date column.

2022-08-16 08:04:23
2022-08-16 09:43:00
2022-08-16 11:25:12
2022-08-17 11:45:41
2022-08-17 12:18:50

Example 2

SELECT DATETIME('2020-02-10', 'start of month', '-1 day', '+7 hours');
  • First, it will apply the modifier 'start of month' which will shift to the beginning of the month, '2020-02-01 00:00:00'. It will include the time portion because we are using the DATETIME() function.
  • Then, it will apply the modifier '-1 day' which will offset the day by -1, resulting in '2020-01-31 00:00:00'.
  • Finally, it will apply the modifier '+7 hours', which will add 7 hours to the time, giving the final result of '2020-01-31 07:00:00'.

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