Find Available Solution Here!

Find PHP date Yesterday with Examples

QuizCure Member Mar 19, 2023

During development, we met with some scenarios where we require to display the previous date or require to find the n days before the date from now.

This date manipulation requires the use of some PHP inbuilt to get the previous dates in a specific date format. We are covering all possible ways to retrieve minus 1 day in detail below. Stay tuned!

In this article, we are going to learn multiple ways to get a date minus 1 day with demonstration example code. There are very useful PHP inbuilt date/time functions out there to manipulate date queries. Letís understand some of the most widely used PHP date functions.

Date function

Inbuilt PHP function date is used to get a formatted date string for a given timestamp.

Syntax: date(format, timestamp)

Input Param
format: Required param. Date format such as "Y-m-d", "Y-m-d H:i:s" etc
Timestamp: Optional param. Default is current time if not provided.


Formatted Date string If none or integer timestamp provided
False. if the noninteger timestamp is provided. Also, it will raise PHP warnings.

Example :

var_dump(date("Y-m-d H:i:s", "TimeStamp"));  

Result: False

strtotime function

Definition:strtotime() is a PHP inbuilt function used to parse English textual date-time to a UNIX timestamp.

Syntax: strtotime(datetime, baseTimestamp)
Input Params:

  • Datetime: Required String param. It should be an English textual date-time. Example: "yesterday", "now", ":next Monday" etc.
  • baseTimestamp: Optional parameter. Its base time is used to calculate the return value of strtotime. Default is based on the Current timestamp if not mentioned.
  • Return: TimeStamp when successful. False on failed to return timestamp.

There are more other vital date/time functions that can be checked here. Now letís explore the most commonly asked queries for finding yesterdayís date in PHP.

Get yesterday's date using strtotime function in PHP

We can create yesterday's date format using PHP inbuilt function date & strtotime in the following manner.

Note: Current Server Date: 23 November 2021

Example 1: With English text -1 days

echo  date('j F, Y',strtotime("-1 days"));



22 November, 2021

Explanation: Here function strtotime() is used to parse an English text -1 days and return the corresponding Unix timestamp.

The output of strtotime("-1 days") is passed to date function as the second argument to evaluate string date based on specified date format (j F, Y).

Note. There are multiple ways to define date format depending on requirements.

What if we donít pass strtotime("-1 days")) to the date function?

Well, As mentioned above default is the current timestamp if not mentioned. Therefore the code date('Y-m-d'); will return the current date.

Example 2: With English text yesterday

echo  date('Y-m-d',strtotime("yesterday"));

Explanation: It will return yesterday's date. strtotime parse text yesterday and return a respected timestamp which further passed to date to evaluate date with the specified format.

Find the Previous Date for any Given date using strtotime function

In such cases, we can use the same date & strtotime function to get the previous date for any given date.

Letís understand with the following program:

$givenDate = "2021-09-01";
$timestampForGivenDate = strtotime ( $givenDate );
$englishText = '-1 day';
$requireDateFormat = "Y-m-d";
echo date($requireDateFormat,strtotime ( $englishText , $timestampForGivenDate )) ;

Result: 2021-08-31


Letís understand in following steps

  • $timestampForGivenDate = strtotime ( $givenDate ); used to get a unix timestamp for a given date $givenDate.
  • Next required English date text for our requirement to get the previous date. Therefore $englishText = '-1 day' serves this purpose.
  • Let's suppose we need a date string in ďY-m-dĒ format. Therefore variable $requireDateFormat = "Y-m-d" used for this purpose.
  • strtotime ( $englishText , $timestampForGivenDate ) returns a timestamp and passed to date function to find the previous date of a given date.

Get Next Day date in PHP

We have published a detailed article to

  • Get the next date for given date
  • Find tomorrow date
  • Find next Nth day date

With examples. Click Here to learn more.

Was this post helpful?

Send Feedback

Practice Multiple-Choice Questions

  • Which code might NOT return yesterday's date?

    Options are:
  • Which date code will yield a textual month in abbreviated form? ( three letters)?

    Options are:

Connect With QuizCure

Follow Us and Stay tuned with upcoming blog posts and updates.

Contributed By

QuizCure Member
51 Posts
  • PHP
  • JAVA
  • SEO

You May Like to Read

Other PHP Articles