This tutorial explains how to use the MySQL DISTINCT clause with syntax and examples.
The MySQL DISTINCT clause is used to remove duplicates from the result set. The DISTINCT clause can only be used with SELECT statements.
The syntax for the DISTINCT clause in MySQL is:
Parameters or Arguments
The columns or calculations that you wish to retrieve.
The tables that you wish to retrieve records from. There must be at least one table listed in the FROM clause.
Optional. The conditions that must be met for the records to be selected.
When only one expression is provided in the DISTINCT clause, the query will return the unique values for that expression.
When more than one expression is provided in the DISTINCT clause, the query will retrieve unique combinations for the expressions listed.
In MySQL, the DISTINCT clause doesn't ignore NULL values. So when using the DISTINCT clause in your SQL statement, your result set will include NULL as a distinct value.
Example - With Single Expression
Let's look at the simplest MySQL DISTINCT clause example. We can use the MySQL DISTINCT clause to return a single field that removes the duplicates from the result set.
This MySQL DISTINCT example would return all unique state values from the customers table.
Example - With Multiple Expressions
Let's look at how you might use the MySQL DISTINCT clause to remove duplicates from more than one field in your SELECT statement.
This MySQL DISTINCT clause example would return each unique city and state combination from the customers table. In this case, the DISTINCT applies to each field listed after the DISTINCT keyword, and therefore returns distinct combinations.