Lesson 9: Filtering results using the WHERE Clause and the NOT operator.

By Alan Hylands — 2 minute read

Flipping It Around.

When we use the AND operator in our WHERE clause we look for rows where ALL of the conditions are met.

When we use the OR operator, we look for rows where ANY of the conditions are met.

But what if we want to find out which rows DON'T meet the criteria we're filtering for? That's when we bring out the keyword NOT.

An example.

We want to go to a warm, sunny climate on holiday. Not somewhere we'd need ten layers of clothing and the only wildlife we'd see would be polar bears and penguins.

FROM Holidays
WHERE Country NOT IN ('North Pole','South Pole');

What we are asking (or querying) the database for then is:

  1. All of the columns
  2. From the Holidays table
  3. Where the Country is not either the North Pole nor the South Pole.

With this SQL, we’ve told it:

  • what we want
  • where we want it from
  • and been even more specific about which sub-group of the wider group we do NOT want to see.
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