SQL Syntax: A Comprehensive Guide with Examples


SQL (Structured Query Language) is a powerful language used for managing and manipulating relational databases. Whether you’re a seasoned programmer or a beginner, understanding SQL syntax is essential for effectively working with databases. In this article, we will dive into the fundamental SQL syntax and provide clear examples to illustrate its usage. So, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Syntax of SQL
  2. SQL Syntax and Example
  3. Five Basic SQL Commands
  4. Correct SQL Syntax
  5. Writing SQL Scripts
  6. Conclusion
  7. FAQs

Basic Syntax of SQL

SELECT Statement

The SELECT statement is used to retrieve data from a database table. It is one of the most commonly used SQL commands. Here’s an example:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name;

INSERT Statement

The INSERT statement is used to insert new records into a database table. It follows the syntax below:

INSERT INTO table_name (column1, column2, ...)
VALUES (value1, value2, ...);

UPDATE Statement

The UPDATE statement is used to modify existing records in a database table. It has the following syntax:

UPDATE table_name
SET column1 = value1, column2 = value2, ...
WHERE condition;

DELETE Statement

The DELETE statement is used to delete records from a database table. Here’s the syntax:

DELETE FROM table_name
WHERE condition;

SQL Syntax and Example

SQL syntax encompasses a wide range of commands and clauses. Let’s explore some common ones with examples:


The CREATE TABLE statement is used to create a new table in a database. Here’s an example:

CREATE TABLE employees (
    name VARCHAR(50),
    age INT,
    salary DECIMAL(10,2)


The ALTER TABLE statement is used to modify an existing table structure. Consider the following example:

ALTER TABLE employees
ADD COLUMN department VARCHAR(50);

SELECT Statement with WHERE Clause

The WHERE clause is used to filter data based on specified conditions. Here’s an example:

FROM employees
WHERE age > 30;


The ORDER BY clause is used to sort the result set in ascending or descending order. Example:

FROM employees

Five Basic SQL Commands

  1. SELECT: Retrieves data from a database table.
  2. INSERT: Inserts new records into a table.
  3. UPDATE: Modifies existing records in a table.
  4. DELETE: Deletes records from a table.
  5. CREATE TABLE: Creates a new table in a database.

Correct SQL Syntax

SQL syntax varies across different database management systems (DBMS). However, there are some universal rules to follow:

  • Use capital letters for SQL keywords (e.g., SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE).
  • Enclose table and column names in backticks or double quotation marks.
  • Terminate SQL statements with a semicolon (;).

Writing SQL Scripts

SQL scripts are a series of SQL statements executed together. They allow you to perform complex operations. Consider the following example:

-- SQL script to update employee salaries
UPDATE employees
SET salary = salary * 1.1
WHERE department = 'Sales';


In conclusion, understanding SQL syntax is crucial for working with relational databases effectively. We covered the basic syntax of SQL, including the SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements. We also explored important concepts like the CREATE TABLE statement, WHERE clauses, and ORDER BY clause. By mastering SQL syntax, you’ll be well-equipped to interact with databases and perform various data operations.


  1. What is the basic syntax of SQL?
    The basic syntax of SQL involves statements like SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE, along with clauses like WHERE and ORDER BY.
  2. What is SQL syntax and example?
    SQL syntax refers to the rules and structure of SQL statements. Examples include the SELECT statement and the WHERE clause.
  3. What are the 5 basic SQL commands?
    The 5 basic SQL commands are SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and CREATE TABLE.
  4. Which one is correct SQL syntax?
    The correct SQL syntax follows the rules specified by the specific database management system (DBMS) you are using.
  5. How to write SQL script?
    To write an SQL script, you can use a text editor or an integrated development environment (IDE) that supports SQL. Simply write a series of SQL statements and execute them together.

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