Correct Abbreviation For “Seconds” – Is It “s”, “sec”, or “secs”?

When using abbreviations, it would help to know how they work. Of course, it might make sense at first, but then you have to look into it more and understand that words like “seconds” have a few different abbreviations. This article will explore them all.

What Is The Correct Abbreviation For “Seconds”?

The correct abbreviation for “seconds” is “secs.” We use this abbreviation as a shorter form of the word to help us convey information quicker. Abbreviations work best when we’re trying to convey our point quickly, but it’s best to leave them in informal writing.

Abbreviation For “Seconds”

Perhaps it would make sense for you to see how the plural form works when using this abbreviation:

  • I’m going to need you here for three secs while I figure out what to do next.
  • I’ve only got fifteen secs to get this right. I could really do with your help.

What Is The Correct Abbreviation For “Second”?

“Second” comes with its own abbreviation. When we use the singular form of the word, we should use “sec” as the abbreviation to show that only one “second” is referred to. The extra “s” is not relevant to this situation.

The singular form is a little more specific. It works when only one second is referenced, like so:

  • If you can spare a sec, I’ll be happy to talk you through all the options.
  • One sec! I’ve got a few things I need to get done first.

Is “sec” or “secs” Used The Most?

It might also help to know which of the two abbreviations is more common.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “sec” is the more common choice of the two. “Secs” is barely used in comparison, showing that it’s not all that common to come across it in English.

sec or secs

Is It Correct To Use “s” As The Abbreviation For “Second”?

“S” is technically not an abbreviation for “second.” Instead, it is the symbol of “second,” which is officially recognized when writing scientific or mathematical reports about “seconds.”

We can refer to the International System of Units whenever we want to learn more about units and how they work.

“S” is appropriate to use as the unit for “seconds.” It’s wise to keep a space between the number and the unit when written in this way. This is done because it helps us to establish how the number and unit interact.

  • 10 s
  • 5 s
  • 60 s

Is It “sec” Or “sec.”?

“Sec” is correct without a period after it. While some abbreviations benefit from having a period after to show that it has been shortened, a period is not required when using “sec.”

The only time you might see the period used is if “sec” ends the sentence. Obviously, a period would have to come after it in this case.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “sec” is the most popular choice. We can use this information to clarify that “sec” works best without the period.

sec or sec.
  • Correct: I’ll be there in one sec, so bear with me.
  • Incorrect: I don’t have a sec. to spare. Sorry about that!

Is It “secs” Or “secs.”?

“Secs” follows the same rules as listed above. There is no reason to include a period after the abbreviation in this form because it does not help us to establish the meaning of “secs” (since it uses “sec-” from the start of the word “second”).

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “secs” is the most popular choice. There isn’t too much in it, but this graph makes it clear that the period is unnecessary to your writing.

secs or secs.
  • Correct: It’ll only take a few secs if you have the time to get it done now.
  • Incorrect: I don’t have any secs. left to spare! I’ve got to get out of here right away.

When Is It Appropriate To Use The Abbreviation For “Seconds”?

It’s most appropriate to use the abbreviation for “seconds” informally. You’ll often find that it’s used in text messages to help people save on time. Typing out “secs” is much quicker than using “seconds.”

Incidentally, a lot of native speakers also use “secs” in speaking. The common phrase “two secs” is used when someone is busy with another task, but they know they won’t be busy with it for much longer.

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