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In English you can abbreviate time, such as 3 days 7 hours 30 minutes as 3d 7h 30m.

My question is, is there a German equivalent? Would 3t 7s 30m make sense or could it still be confusing as the German word for seconds also starts with an s?

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4 Answers 4

Yes, this would be confusing, as nobody uses it. The German abbreviations are the same as the English ones, as they derive from Latin (dies, hora, pars minuta prima, pars minuta secunda).

So you could abbreviate:

3 d 7 h 30 m

Note that despite such abbrevations being used, they are not as common in German as in English (at least in my experience). In German longer abbrevations such as Std, Min. and Sek. are more common. For Tag, I have seen T. and Tg. If brevity is of the essence, usually a format like 3:07:30 d is employed or less units are used such as 3,3 Tg. or 79,5 h.

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Well, you'd never use 3:12:10:00 in a normal context. This notation is only used in logs... –  Armin Jul 16 '14 at 18:22
Also, I've never seen decimal days (0,2 Tage). –  Ingmar Jul 16 '14 at 18:22
@Armin: It is not very common, but so is giving such precise time periods in general. Anyway, here is a non-log example. –  Wrzlprmft Jul 16 '14 at 19:51
@Ingmar: Here is an example. Admittedly, when giving time spans of a few days more precisely than a day, usually hours are chosen as units. (Again, longer time spans are rarely given in that precision.) –  Wrzlprmft Jul 16 '14 at 20:03
Im wissenschaftlichen Kontext (zB Halbwertszeiten) kommt "Dezimalzahl d" vor. –  user6191 Jul 16 '14 at 21:50

Normally you can use h for hours as well but the German abbreviation would be Std. Also normally you'd rather see min instead of m for minutes. And s and sek are equally teated for seconds... I've never seen an abbreviation for days but t would be understood.

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Is h acceptable because of the implied English that Germans are used to? –  Johannes Jul 16 '14 at 18:16
Ich kenne Tg. als Abkürzung für Tage. –  Vogel612 Jul 16 '14 at 18:17
@Johannes no because of the Latin word hora which means hour –  Armin Jul 16 '14 at 18:19
@Vogel612 wie gesagt, ich hatte bisher wenige Texte, die Tage abgekürzt haben... –  Armin Jul 16 '14 at 18:19
@Armin Ich lebe in Amerika deshalb sehe ich nie Deutsche Texte :( –  Johannes Jul 16 '14 at 18:29

Within a technical or scientific context, internationally standardized units and unit symbols shall be used – in German as well as in English.

The SI base unit for time is the second. The units minute, hour, and day are non-SI units that are recognized as having to be retained for use together with the SI.

 Unit symbol │ Unit name           
             │ English │ German    
 s           │ second  │ Sekunde   
 min         │ minute  │ Minute    
 h           │ hour    │ Stunde    
 d           │ day     │ Tag       

Note that unit symbols are not abbreviations. They are not followed by a period except at the end of a sentence.

The unit symbols shall be placed after the numerical value, leaving a space between the numerical value and the unit symbol:

1 d = 24 h = 1440 min = 86 400 s

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Short answer

don't use s for Stunden, use h instead. For the rest you can be pretty flexible.

Longer answer

h= Stunde m= minute s= sekunde

I have checked but it does not give any abbreviations for days.

3T 2Std 45min 8sec


3T 2h45m8s (without dots)


3Tg. 2Std. 45min. 8sek. (with dots)

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Vor allem soll man nicht m für Minute nutzen, wenn eine Verwechslung mit m für Meter, einer standardisierten, internationalen Größe, möglich ist. –  user unknown Feb 23 at 0:16

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