Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between CET and GMT


Both CET and GMT are time zones which are invisible longitudinal lines that indicate a particular time stamp on a specific place. Time zones are the result of the Earth’s rotation and position in accordance to the sun. Since half the Earth faces the sun in one direction, the other half of the Earth is enclosed in the dark. The Earth is divided into 24 parts which are marked by invisible lines. These invisible lines indicate the current time in that particular place.

“GMT” stands for “Greenwich Mean” or “Meridian Time.” This particular time zone is based on Greenwich, England and is considered as the absolute time reference for the world’s time. GMT is always constant and doesn’t change for the rest of the year. GMT is also known as “British Standard Time,” precision time, military time (called Zulu time), Coordinated Universal Time and international time. It is denoted as +0 hours. With reference to the Central European time, it is one hour before that particular time zone.

GMT plays a vital role in world time and time zones. First, it is the agreed marker for the current and official time around the world. The GMT provides the correct time in many international places. Second, it is also the starting point for every time zone and is located at the center of the time zone map. It is basically the time zone reference for all other time zones. All changes in time zones are measured in reference to the GMT. Third, the application of GMT is universal. It is the one used for military time because of precision and applicability to the many countries. As a time zone, it is used mainly in the United Kingdom (which includes the main islands of Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland). It is used for five months before it switches in summer for the British Summer Time. In the case of Iceland, the GMT is applied for the whole year.

On the other hand, “CET” stands for “Central European Time,” which is the time zone used and adapted by 31 countries, mostly European and North African nations, during the time of winter. These countries include the nations of: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except the Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

CET is one of the 24 longitudinal time zone divisions of the Earth and, like other time zones, it is measured relative to the GMT which is the time zone reference point. With reference to the Greenwich Mean Time, the CET is one hour after GMT or UTC. It is denoted as +1 hour, GMT+1 or UTC+1. Like the GMT, the CET also changes after five months. It is replaced by the CEST or Central European Summer Time.


1.GMT and CET are both time zones. However, the GMT has broader applications compared to the CET. It is basically the point of origin for all time zones which includes the CET.
2.The CET is applicable to 31 countries while the GMT is applicable to all countries in the world. It is actively used in the United Kingdom (for five months) and Iceland (for the whole year).
3.Both CET and GMT switch to another time zone after five months. The switch is done for the summer because the summer season has an extended length of daylight and results in more business and work hours. The CET switches to 4.CEST (Central European Summer Time) and GMT change into BST (British Summer Time).
5.The GMT is known by many names: Greenwich Mean Time, Greenwich Meridian Time, Universal Coordinated Time, international time, military time, precision time and British Standard Time.

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