SQLite Select

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SQLite Select


Summary: in this tutorial, you will learn how to use SQLite SELECT statement to query data from a single table.

The SELECT statement is one of the most commonly used statements in SQL. The SQLite SELECT statement provides all features of the SELECT statement in SQL standard.

Simple uses of SELECT statement

You can use the SELECT statement to perform a simple calculation as follows:

SELECT 1 + 1;

You can use multiple expressions in the SELECT statement as follows:

10 / 5,
2 * 4 ;

Querying data from a table using the SELECT statement

We often use the SELECT statement to query data from one or more table. The syntax of the SELECT statement is as follows:

FROM table_list
JOIN table ON join_condition
WHERE row_filter
ORDER BY column
LIMIT count OFFSET offset
GROUP BY column
HAVING group_filter;


The SELECT statement is the most complex statement in SQLite. To help easier to understand each part, we will break the SELECT statement into multiple easy-to-understand tutorials.

  • Use ORDER BY clause to sort the result set
  • Use DISTINCT clause to query unique rows in a table
  • Use WHERE clause to filter rows in the result set
  • Use LIMIT OFFSET clauses to constrain the number of rows returned
  • Use INNER JOIN or LEFT JOIN to query data from multiple tables using join.
  • Use GROUP BY to get the group rows into groups and apply aggregate function for each group.
  • Use HAVING clause to filter groups

In this tutorial, we are going to focus on the simplest form of the SELECT statement that allows you to query data from a single table.

SELECT column_list
FROM table;


Even though the SELECT clause appears before the FROM clause, SQLite evaluates the FROM clause first and then the SELECT clause, therefore:

  • First, specify the table where you want to get data from in the FROM clause. Notice that you can have more than one table in the FROM clause. We will discuss it in the subsequent tutorial.
  • Second, specify a column or a list of comma-separated columns in the SELECT clause.

You use the semicolon (;) to terminate the statement.

SQLite SELECT examples

Let’s take a look at the tracks table in the sample database.

The tracks table contains columns and rows. It looks like a spreadsheet.

To get data from the tracks table such as trackid, track name, composer, and unit price, you use the following statement:


You specify a list column names, which you want to get data, in the SELECT clause and the tracks table in the FROM clause. SQLite returns the following result:

To get data from all columns, you specify the columns of the tracks table in the SELECT clause as follows:



For a table with many columns, the query would be so long that time-consuming to type. To avoid this, you can use the asterisk (*), which is the shorthand for all columns of the table as follows:

SELECT * FROM tracks;


The query is shorter and cleaner now.


You should use the asterisk (*) for the testing purpose only, not in the real application development.


When you develop an application, you should control what SQLite returns to your application. Suppose, a table has 3 columns, and you use the asterisk (*) to retrieve the data from all three columns.

What if someone removes a column, your application would not be working properly, because it assumes that there are three columns returned and the logic to process those three columns would be broken.

If someone adds more columns, your application may work but it gets more data than needed, which creates more I/O overhead between the database and application.

So try to avoid using the asterisk (*) as a good habit when you use the SELECT statement.

In this tutorial, you have learned how to use a simple form of the SQLite SELECT statement to query data from a single table.

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