DateTime.ToString Method (IFormatProvider)

Converts the value of the current DateTime object to its equivalent string representation using the specified culture-specific format information.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public string ToString(
	IFormatProvider provider


Type: System.IFormatProvider
An object that supplies culture-specific formatting information.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string representation of value of the current DateTime object, as specified by the provider parameter.




The date and time is outside the range of dates supported by the calendar used by provider.

The value of the current DateTime object is formatted using the general date and time format specifier ('G'), which formats output using the short date pattern and the long time pattern.

The format of the short date and long time pattern is defined by the provider parameter. The provider parameter can be any of the following:

If provider is null, the DateTimeFormatInfo object associated with the current culture is used. For more information, see CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.

Platform Notes

Silverlight for Windows Phone Silverlight for Windows Phone

 Silverlight for Windows Phone does not return the correct string for Russian dates. For example, 15.Июнь.2000 is returned instead of 15.июня.2000.

Notes to Callers

The ToString(IFormatProvider) method returns the string representation of the date and time in the calendar used by the culture represented by the provider parameter. Its calendar is defined by the Calendar property. If the value of the current DateTime instance is earlier than Calendar.MinSupportedDateTime or later than Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime, the method throws an ArgumentOutOfRangeException. The following example provides an illustration. It attempts to format a date that is outside the range of the JapaneseCalendar class.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class Example
   public static void Demo(System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock outputBlock)
      CultureInfo jaJP = new CultureInfo("ja-JP");
      jaJP.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new JapaneseCalendar();
      DateTime date1 = new DateTime(1867, 1, 1);

         outputBlock.Text += date1.ToString(jaJP) + "\n";
      catch (ArgumentOutOfRangeException)
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("{0:d} is earlier than {1:d} or later than {2:d}",
                           jaJP.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.MaxSupportedDateTime) + "\n";
// The example displays the following output:
//    1/1/1867 is earlier than 9/8/1868 or later than 12/31/9999   }

The following example displays the string representation of a date and time using CultureInfo objects that represent five different cultures.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class Example
   public static void Demo(System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock outputBlock)
      CultureInfo[] cultures = new CultureInfo[] {CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, 
                                                  new CultureInfo("en-us"), 
                                                  new CultureInfo("fr-fr"), 
                                                  new CultureInfo("de-DE"), 
                                                  new CultureInfo("es-ES"),
                                                  new CultureInfo("ja-JP")};

      DateTime thisDate = new DateTime(2009, 5, 1, 9, 0, 0);

      foreach (CultureInfo culture in cultures)
         string cultureName;
         if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(culture.Name))
            cultureName = culture.NativeName;
            cultureName = culture.Name;

         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("In {0}, {1}",
                           cultureName, thisDate.ToString(culture)) + "\n";
// The example produces the following output:
//    In Invariant Language (Invariant Country), 05/01/2009 09:00:00
//    In en-US, 5/1/2009 9:00:00 AM
//    In fr-FR, 01/05/2009 09:00:00
//    In de-DE, 01.05.2009 09:00:00
//    In es-ES, 01/05/2009 9:00:00
//    In ja-JP, 2009/05/01 9:00:00


Supported in: 5, 4, 3

Silverlight for Windows Phone

Supported in: Windows Phone OS 7.1, Windows Phone OS 7.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0

For a list of the operating systems and browsers that are supported by Silverlight, see Supported Operating Systems and Browsers.

Community Additions