SQL LEFT() Function


The SQL LEFT() is a function, and extracts substring or number of characters from a given input string or text.

The SQL LEFT() function is extracts data or substring from left most character.

The SQL LEFT() function is supports or work with character and numeric based columns.

It can be used in any valid SQL SELECT statement as well in SQL where clause.

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SQL LEFT() Syntax

The below syntax is used to extracts substring or number of characters from a given input string or text.


SELECT LEFT(string or text, number_of_characters);

The below syntax is used to extracts substring or number of characters from a given table column or field.


SELECT LEFT(column_name1, number_of_characters) FROM table_name;


SQL LEFT() Example - Using Expression Or Formula

The following SQL SELECT statement will extract number of characters of a given input string or text.


SELECT LEFT('How Are You', 3) AS 'Read 3 chars from left side';

The result of above query is:

Read 3 chars from left side
How

SQL LEFT() More Example

Input Value Result
Left('Hello', 2) He
Left('Hi, it's nice database tutorial!', 10) Hi, it's n
Left('12345', 3) 123

Sample Database Table - Books

BookId BookName BookPrice RelYear DomainName AuthorName
1 SQL All-in-One For Dummies 136.33 2015 Optimization Geetha
2 The Microsoft Data Warehouse 140 2006 Optimization Nirmala
3 MySql Interview Questions 168.27 2008 Administration Dharan
4 Oracle Cookbook 99.99 2012 Database Bala Murugan

SQL LEFT() Example - With Table Column

The following SQL statement selects the "BookID", "BookName" and "BookPrice" fields from the "Books" table, and extract the specified number of characters from "Books" table:


SELECT BookID,
LEFT(BookName, 6) As 'Book Name First 6 Char(s)', 
LEFT(BookPrice, 2) As 'Book Price First 2 Char(s)'
FROM Books;

The result of above query is:

BookID Book Name First 6 Char(s) Book Price First 2 Char(s)
1 SQL Al 13
2 The Mi 14
3 MySql 16
4 Oracle 99
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