How can I apply an offset on the current time in Python?

Whenever you want to add or subtract(apply an offset) to a date/time, use a datetime.datetime(), then add or subtract datetime.timedelta() instances. A timedelta object represents a duration, the difference between two dates or times. The timedelta constructor has the following function signature −

datetime.timedelta([days[, seconds[, microseconds[, milliseconds[, minutes[, hours[, weeks]]]]]]])

Note − All arguments are optional and default to 0. Arguments may be ints, longs, or floats, and may be positive or negative. You can read more about it here −


An example of using the timedelta objects and dates −

import datetime
old_time =
new_time = old_time - datetime.timedelta(hours=2, minutes=10)


This will give the output −

2018-01-04 11:09:00.694602
2018-01-04 08:59:00.694602

timedelta() arithmetic is not supported for datetime.time() objects; if you need to use offsets from an existing datetime.time() object, just use datetime.datetime.combine() to form a datetime.datetime() instance, do your calculations, and 'extract' the time again with the .time() method.

Updated on: 04-Nov-2023

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