'z'are interpreted as pattern letters representing the components of a date or time string. Text can be quoted using single quotes (
') to avoid interpretation.
"''"represents a single quote. All other characters are not interpreted; they're simply copied into the output string during formatting or matched against the input string during parsing.
The following pattern letters are defined (all other characters from
Pattern letters are usually repeated, as their number determines the exact presentation:
Letter Date or Time Component Presentation Examples
Era designator Text
Month in year Month
Week in year Number
Week in month Number
Day in year Number
Day in month Number
Day of week in month Number
Day in week Text
Am/pm marker Text
Hour in day (0-23) Number
Hour in day (1-24) Number
Hour in am/pm (0-11) Number
Hour in am/pm (1-12) Number
Minute in hour Number
Second in minute Number
Time zone General time zone
Pacific Standard Time;
Time zone RFC 822 time zone
- Text: For formatting, if the number of pattern letters is 4 or more, the full form is used; otherwise a short or abbreviated form is used if available. For parsing, both forms are accepted, independent of the number of pattern letters.
- Number: For formatting, the number of pattern letters is the minimum number of digits, and shorter numbers are zero-padded to this amount. For parsing, the number of pattern letters is ignored unless it's needed to separate two adjacent fields.
- Year: For formatting, if the number of pattern letters is 2, the year is truncated to 2 digits; otherwise it is interpreted as a number.For parsing, if the number of pattern letters is more than 2, the year is interpreted literally, regardless of the number of digits. So using the pattern "MM/dd/yyyy", "01/11/12" parses to Jan 11, 12 A.D.
For parsing with the abbreviated year pattern ("y" or "yy"),
SimpleDateFormatmust interpret the abbreviated year relative to some century. It does this by adjusting dates to be within 80 years before and 20 years after the time the
SimpleDateFormatinstance is created. For example, using a pattern of "MM/dd/yy" and a
SimpleDateFormatinstance created on Jan 1, 1997, the string "01/11/12" would be interpreted as Jan 11, 2012 while the string "05/04/64" would be interpreted as May 4, 1964. During parsing, only strings consisting of exactly two digits, as defined by
Character.isDigit(char), will be parsed into the default century. Any other numeric string, such as a one digit string, a three or more digit string, or a two digit string that isn't all digits (for example, "-1"), is interpreted literally. So "01/02/3" or "01/02/003" are parsed, using the same pattern, as Jan 2, 3 AD. Likewise, "01/02/-3" is parsed as Jan 2, 4 BC.
- Month: If the number of pattern letters is 3 or more, the month is interpreted as text; otherwise, it is interpreted as a number.