SELECT Statement

The SELECT statement is used to query the database and retrieve selected data that match the criteria that you specify.

The SELECT statement has five main clauses to choose from, although, FROM is the only required clause. Each of the clauses have a vast selection of options, parameters, etc. The clauses will be listed below, but each of them will be covered in more detail later in the tutorial.

Here is the format of the SELECT statement:

 SELECT [ALL | DISTINCT] column1[,column2] FROM table1[,table2] [WHERE "conditions"] [GROUP BY "column-list"] [HAVING "conditions] [ORDER BY "column-list" [ASC | DESC] ] 

FROM & WHERE clause quick review


SELECT name, age, salary
FROM employee
WHERE age > 40;

The above statement will select all of the values in the name, age, and salary columns from the employee table whose age is greater than 50.

Note: Remember to put a semicolon at the end of your SQL statements. The ; indicates that your SQL statment is complete and is ready to be interpreted.

Comparison Operators

= Equal
> Greater than
< Less than
>= Greater than or equal to
<= Less than or equal to
<> or != Not equal to
LIKE String comparison test


*Note about LIKE


SELECT name, title, dept FROM employee WHERE title LIKE 'Pro%';

The above statement will select all of the rows/values in the name, title, and dept columns from the employee table whose title starts with ‘Pro’. This may return job titles including Programmer or Pro-wrestler.

ALL and DISTINCT are keywords used to select either ALL (default) or the “distinct” or unique records in your query results. If you would like to retrieve just the unique records in specified columns, you can use the “DISTINCT” keyword. DISTINCT will discard the duplicate records for the columns you specified after the “SELECT” statement: For example:

FROM employee_info;

This statement will return all of the unique ages in the employee_info table.

ALL will display “all” of the specified columns including all of the duplicates. The ALL keyword is the default if nothing is specified.

Note: The following two tables will be used throughout this course. It is recommended to have them open in another window or print them out.


Tutorial Tables


Review Exercises

  1. From the items_ordered table, select a list of all items purchased for customerid 10449. Display the customerid, item, and price for this customer.

    Show Answer

  2. Select all columns from the items_ordered table for whoever purchased a Tent.

    Show Answer

  3. Select the customerid, order_date, and item values from the items_ordered table for any items in the item column that start with the letter “S”.

    Show Answer

  4. Select the distinct items in the items_ordered table. In other words, display a listing of each of the unique items from the items_ordered table.

    Show Answer

  5. Make up your own select statements and submit them.


Enter SQL Statement here:

Results will be displayed here

All Advanced Courses

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Data Insider for top news, trends & analysis