The SELECT statement is used to select data from a database.

The data returned is stored in a result table, called the result-set.

SELECT Syntax

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name; 

Here, column1, column2, … are the field names of the table you want to select data from. If you want to select all the fields available in the table, use the following syntax:

SELECT * FROM table_name; 

Demo Database

In this tutorial, we will use the well-known Northwind sample database.

Below is a selection from the “Customers” table in the Northwind sample database:

CustomerIDCustomerNameContactNameAddressCityPostalCodeCountry
1
Alfreds FutterkisteMaria AndersObere Str. 57Berlin12209Germany
2Ana Trujillo Emparedados y heladosAna TrujilloAvda. de la Constitución 2222México D.F.05021Mexico
3Antonio Moreno TaqueríaAntonio MorenoMataderos 2312México D.F.05023Mexico
4
Around the HornThomas Hardy120 Hanover Sq.LondonWA1 1DPUK
5Berglunds snabbköpChristina BerglundBerguvsvägen 8LuleåS-958 22Sweden

SELECT Columns Example

The following SQL statement selects the “CustomerName”, “City”, and “Country” columns from the “Customers” table:

Example

 SELECT CustomerName, City, Country FROM Customers; 

SELECT * Example

The following SQL statement selects ALL the columns from the “Customers” table:

Example

 SELECT * FROM Customers; 

The MySQL SELECT DISTINCT Statement

The SELECT DISTINCT statement is used to return only distinct (different) values.

Inside a table, a column often contains many duplicate values; and sometimes you only want to list the different (distinct) values.

SELECT DISTINCT Syntax

SELECT DISTINCT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name; 

SELECT Example Without DISTINCT

The following SQL statement selects all (including the duplicates) values from the “Country” column in the “Customers” table:

Example

 SELECT Country FROM Customers; 

Now, let us use the SELECT DISTINCT statement and see the result.


SELECT DISTINCT Examples

The following SQL statement selects only the DISTINCT values from the “Country” column in the “Customers” table:

Example

 SELECT DISTINCT Country FROM Customers; 

The following SQL statement counts and returns the number of different (distinct) countries in the “Customers” table:

Example

 SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT Country) FROM Customers;