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Add interval to a datetime

I want to achieve a similar operation in java:

time = "2014-05-19 13:36:05"
interval = "60 (seconds)"
time - interval = "2014-05-19 13:35:05"

What’s the best approach to express this in Java given the following constraints:

  • The datetime is a formated string.

  • The interval is an integer.

  • The calculated time should be also a datetime formatted string.


You should work with “Date” objects, which basically represent an instance in time (number of milliseconds since Unix epoch) when doing the subtraction. Once you have a “Date” Object you can use “getTime” method ( to get this milliseconds value, and subtract 60 seconds (make sure to work with milliseconds not seconds!), and create a new “Date” with that resulting value.

This is one approach. There are many, Joda library is also quite popular. It has a method to subtract milliseconds from its date representation,