Ruby time and date comparisons for humans

gem install human_time -v 0.2.3



Build Status Gem Version

Have you ever struggled to understand what a piece of code like this is trying to say?

some_time > another_time

It should be simple, but our brains don't think in terms of "greater than" or "less than" when it comes to times and dates.

human_time lets you express time comparison the way your human brain thinks:


It also includes some synonyms so you can word it in a way that makes sense to your human brain:


For a complete list of expressions, see the 'Usage' section below.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'human_time'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install human_time


human_time simply adds aliases for the >, >=, < and <= methods on the Date, Time and DateTime classes.

older_date = Date.parse('2016-01-01')
newer_date = Date.parse('2016-01-02')

older_date < newer_date
# => true

# => true

newer_date > older_date
# => true

# => true

> aliases

  • newer_than?
  • more_recent_than?
  • comes_after?
  • later_than?

>= aliases

  • newer_than_or_equal_to?
  • more_recent_than_or_equal_to?
  • after_or_equal_to?
  • later_than_or_equal_to?

< aliases

  • older_than?
  • comes_before?
  • earlier_than?

<= aliases

  • older_than_or_equal_to?
  • before_or_equal_to?
  • earlier_than_or_equal_to?

RSpec Matchers

human_time also provides RSpec matchers for more understandable time comparisons in your tests.

To use these, include the following in your spec_helper.rb file:

require 'human_time/rspec_matchers'

And then you can use the following matchers:

older_date = Date.parse('2016-01-01')
newer_date = Date.parse('2016-01-02')

expect(newer_date).to be_more_recent_than(older_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_newer_than(older_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_after(older_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_later_than(older_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_more_recent_than_or_equal_to(older_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_newer_than_or_equal_to(newer_date)
expect(newer_date).to be_later_than_or_equal_to(newer_date)
expect(older_date).to be_older_than(newer_date)
expect(older_date).to be_before(newer_date)
expect(older_date).to be_earlier_than(newer_date)
expect(older_date).to be_older_than_or_equal_to(older_date)
expect(older_date).to be_earlier_than_or_equal_to(older_date)


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.