Summary: in this tutorial, you will learn how to use MySQL INNER JOIN clause to select data from multiple tables based on join conditions.
Introducing MySQL INNER JOIN clause
The MySQL INNER JOIN clause matches rows in one table with rows in other tables and allows you to query rows that contain columns from both tables.
The MySQL INNER JOIN clause is an optional part of the SELECT statement. It appears immediately after the
Before using MySQL INNER JOIN clause, you have to specify the following criteria:
- First, you have to specify the main table that appears in the
- Second, you need to specify the table that you want to join with the main table, which appears in the
INNER JOINclause. Theoretically, you can join a table with many tables. However, for better query performance, you should limit the number of tables to join.
- Third, you need to specify the join condition or join predicate. The join condition appears after the keyword
INNER JOINclause. The join condition is the rule for matching rows between the main table and the other tables.
The syntax of the MySQL INNER JOIN clause is as follows:
INNER JOIN t2 ON join_condition1
INNER JOIN t3 ON join_condition2
Let’s simplify the syntax above by assuming that we are joining two tables
T2 using the
INNER JOIN clause.
For each row in the
T1 table, the MySQL INNER JOIN clause compares it with each row of the
T2 table to check if both of them satisfy the join condition. When the join condition is matched, it will return the row that combine columns in both
Notice that the rows in both
T2 tables have to be matched based on the join condition. If no match found, the query will return an empty result set. This logic is also applied if we join more than 2 tables.
The following Venn diagram illustrates how the MySQL INNER JOIN clause works. The rows in the result set must appear in both tables: T1 and T2.
Avoid ambiguous column error in MySQL INNER JOIN
If you join multiple tables that have the same column name, you have to use table qualifier to refer to that column in the
SELECT clause to avoid ambiguous column error.
For example, if both
T2 tables have the same column named
C in the
SELECT clause, you have to refer to the
C column using the table qualifiers as
To save time typing the table qualifiers, you can use table aliases in the query. For example, you can give the
verylongtablename table an alias
T and refer to its columns using
T.column instead of
Examples of using MySQL INNER JOIN clause
Let’s take a look at the
productlines tables in the sample database.
Now, if you want to get
- The product code and product name from the
- The text description of product lines from the
You need to select data from both tables and match rows by comparing the
productline column from the
products table with the
productline column from the
productlines table as the following query:
INNER JOIN productlines T2 ON T1.productline = T2.productline;
MySQL INNER JOIN with GROUP BY clause
See the following
We can get the order number, order status and total sales from the
orderdetails tables using the
INNER JOIN clause with the GROUP BY clause as follows:
SUM(quantityOrdered * priceEach) total
orders AS T1
INNER JOIN orderdetails AS T2 ON T1.orderNumber = T2.orderNumber
In this tutorial, you have learned how to use MySQL INNER JOIN to query data from multiple tables. You have also learned how to use table qualifier to avoid ambiguous column error in MySQL INNER JOIN clause.