MySQL String Concatenation with CONCAT()


Joining individual pieces of text data into a singular string is nothing new in the programming world and all languages support some form of concatenation. In MySQL, you can use the CONCAT() function. Let’s see how…

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MySQL CONCAT() syntax

I’m using the ‘actor’ table from the well-known Sakila database for the example queries.

The MySQL CONCAT() function syntax is simple and easy to remember:

CONCAT(string_1,string_2, … );

There should be at least 1 parameter passed into any CONCAT() function call or you will receive an error:

SELECT CONCAT() AS full_name
FROM actor
Error Code: 1582. Incorrect parameter count in the call to native function ‘CONCAT’

MySQL CONCAT() usage

As a novel attempt, we could try placing a space between the ‘first_name’ and ‘last_name’ columns from the ‘actor’ table, but, that doesn’t join the values into a single string:

SELECT first_name, ‘ ‘, last_name
FROM actor

However, if you pass in both the ‘first_name’ and ‘last_name’ columns as parameters to CONCAT(), they are joined into a string:

SELECT CONCAT(first_name, last_name) AS full_name
FROM actor

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Notice there is no space between the ‘first_name’ and ‘last_name’ values in the previous example.

Yet, CONCAT() accepts multiple parameters, so you can simply pass in a space character as one of them:

SELECT CONCAT(first_name,’ ‘, last_name) AS full_name
FROM actor

In the below query, I’m passing 4 parameters to CONCAT(), 1 of which is prepended to the beginning of the string :

SELECT CONCAT(‘And the winner is: ‘, first_name,’ ‘, last_name) AS full_name
FROM actor

Try using CONCAT() in any of your queries where you need string concatenation.

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Similar reading

You may enjoy any of the below posts in addition to this one:

MySQL SHOW Tables – 2 variationsMySQL Beginners Series — The SELECT statementSUBSTRING_INDEX() function in MySQL – with examples.

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Josh Otwell has a passion to study and grow as a SQL Developer and blogger. Other favorite activities find him with his nose buried in a good book, article, or the Linux command line. Among those, he shares a love of tabletop RPG games, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Disclaimer: The examples presented in this post are hypothetical ideas of how to achieve similar types of results. They are not the utmost best solution(s). The majority, if not all, of the examples provided, are performed on a personal development/learning workstation environment and should not be considered production quality or ready. Your particular goals and needs may vary. Use those practices that best benefit your needs and goals. Opinions are my own.

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