# Comparison Functions and Operators¶

## Comparison Operators¶

Operator

Description

<

Less than

>

Greater than

<=

Less than or equal to

>=

Greater than or equal to

=

Equal

<>

Not equal

!=

Not equal (non-standard but popular syntax)

## Range Operator: BETWEEN¶

The BETWEEN operator tests if a value is within a specified range. It uses the syntax value BETWEEN min AND max:

SELECT 3 BETWEEN 2 AND 6;

The statement shown above is equivalent to the following statement:

SELECT 3 >= 2 AND 3 <= 6;

To test if a value does not fall within the specified range use NOT BETWEEN:

SELECT 3 NOT BETWEEN 2 AND 6;

The statement shown above is equivalent to the following statement:

SELECT 3 < 2 OR 3 > 6;

The presence of NULL in a BETWEEN or NOT BETWEEN statement will result in the statement evaluating to NULL:

SELECT NULL BETWEEN 2 AND 4; -- null

SELECT 2 BETWEEN NULL AND 6; -- null

The BETWEEN and NOT BETWEEN operators can also be used to evaluate string arguments:

SELECT 'Paul' BETWEEN 'John' AND 'Ringo'; -- true

Note that the value, min, and max parameters to BETWEEN and NOT BETWEEN must be the same type. For example, Presto will produce an error if you ask it if John is between 2.3 and 35.2.

## IS NULL and IS NOT NULL¶

The IS NULL and IS NOT NULL operators test whether a value is null (undefined). Both operators work for all data types.

Using NULL with IS NULL evaluates to true:

select NULL IS NULL; -- true

But any other constant does not:

SELECT 3.0 IS NULL; -- false

## IS DISTINCT FROM and IS NOT DISTINCT FROM¶

In SQL a NULL value signifies an unknown value, so any comparison involving a NULL will produce NULL. The IS DISTINCT FROM and IS NOT DISTINCT FROM operators treat NULL as a known value and both operators guarantee either a true or false outcome even in the presence of NULL input:

SELECT NULL IS DISTINCT FROM NULL; -- false

SELECT NULL IS NOT DISTINCT FROM NULL; -- true

In the example shown above, a NULL value is not considered distinct from NULL. When you are comparing values which may include NULL use these operators to guarantee either a TRUE or FALSE result.

The following truth table demonstrate the handling of NULL in IS DISTINCT FROM and IS NOT DISTINCT FROM:

a

b

a = b

a <> b

a DISTINCT b

a NOT DISTINCT b

1

1

TRUE

FALSE

FALSE

TRUE

1

2

FALSE

TRUE

TRUE

FALSE

1

NULL

NULL

NULL

TRUE

FALSE

NULL

NULL

NULL

NULL

FALSE

TRUE

## GREATEST and LEAST¶

These functions are not in the SQL standard, but are a common extension. Like most other functions in Presto, they return null if any argument is null. Note that in some other databases, such as PostgreSQL, they only return null if all arguments are null.

The following types are supported: DOUBLE, BIGINT, VARCHAR, TIMESTAMP, TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE, DATE

greatest(value1, value2, ..., valueN) -> [same as input]()

Returns the largest of the provided values.

least(value1, value2, ..., valueN) -> [same as input]()

Returns the smallest of the provided values.

## Quantified Comparison Predicates: ALL, ANY and SOME¶

The ALL, ANY and SOME quantifiers can be used together with comparison operators in the following way:

expression operator quantifier ( subquery )

For example:

SELECT 'hello' = ANY (VALUES 'hello', 'world'); -- true

SELECT 21 < ALL (VALUES 19, 20, 21); -- false

SELECT 42 >= SOME (SELECT 41 UNION ALL SELECT 42 UNION ALL SELECT 43); -- true

Here are the meanings of some quantifier and comparison operator combinations:

Expression

Meaning

A = ALL (...)

Evaluates to true when A is equal to all values.

A <> ALL (...)

Evaluates to true when A doesn’t match any value.

A < ALL (...)

Evaluates to true when A is smaller than the smallest value.

A = ANY (...)

Evaluates to true when A is equal to any of the values. This form is equivalent to A IN (...).

A <> ANY (...)

Evaluates to true when A doesn’t match one or more values.

A < ANY (...)

Evaluates to true when A is smaller than the biggest value.

ANY and SOME have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.

## LIKE¶

The LIKE operator is used to match a specified character pattern in a string. Patterns can contain regular characters as well as wildcards. Wildcard characters can be escaped using the single character specified for the ESCAPE parameter. Matching is case sensitive.

Syntax:

expression LIKE pattern [ ESCAPE ‘escape_character’ ]

if pattern or escape_character is null, the expression evaluates to null.

Wildcard

Representation

%

The percent sign represents zero, one, or multiple characters

_

The underscore represents a single character

Examples:

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('abc'), ('bcd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE '%b%'
--returns 'abc' and  'bcd'

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('abc'), ('bcd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE '_b%'
--returns 'abc'

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('abc'), ('bcd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE 'b%'
--returns 'bcd'

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('abc'), ('bcd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE 'B%'
--returns nothing

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('a_c'), ('_cd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE '%#_%' ESCAPE '#'
--returns 'a_c' and  '_cd'

SELECT * FROM (VALUES ('a%c'), ('%cd'), ('cde')) AS t (name)
WHERE name LIKE '%#%%' ESCAPE '#'
--returns 'a%c' and  '%cd'

## Row comparison: IN¶

The IN comparison operator in SQL is used to compare a value with a list of literal values that have been specified. The IN operator returns TRUE if the value matches any of the literal values in the list. The IN operator can be used to compare values with the following patterns. It can fetch records according to multiple values specified in WHERE clause. A sub-query or list of values must be specified in the parenthesis, however one column must be specified in the sub-query.

WHERE column [NOT] IN ('value1','value2');
WHERE column [NOT] IN ( subquery )

Examples:

SELECT * FROM region WHERE name IN ('AMERICA', 'EUROPE');

SELECT * FROM region WHERE name IN ('NULL', 'AMERICA', 'EUROPE');

SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE (column1, column2) IN ((NULL, 'value1'), ('value2', 'value3'));

## Row comparison: OR¶

The OR operator is used to filter the results of a query based on more than one condition. It returns a record if any of the conditions separated by OR is TRUE. The values in the clause are used for multiple comparisons that are combined as a logical OR. The preceding query is equivalent to the following query:

Example:

SELECT * FROM region WHERE name = 'AMERICA' OR name = 'EUROPE';

## Row comparison: NOT IN¶

The NOT IN comparison operator in SQL is used to exclude the rows that match any value in a list or subquery.

You can negate the comparisons by adding NOT, and get all other regions except the values in list:

Example:

SELECT * FROM region WHERE name NOT IN ('AMERICA', 'EUROPE');

When using a subquery to determine the values to use in the comparison, the subquery must return a single column and one or more rows.

Example:

SELECT id, name FROM region WHERE name IN (SELECT name FROM region WHERE id IN (3,4));