LIMIT keyword

Specify the number and position of records returned by a SELECT statement.

In other implementations of SQL, this is sometimes replaced by statements such as OFFSET or ROWNUM Our implementation of LIMIT encompasses both in one statement.


Flow chart showing the syntax of the LIMIT keyword

  • numberOfRecords is the number of records to return.
  • upperBound and lowerBound is the return range. lowerBound is exclusive and upperBound is inclusive.

A positive number will return the first n records. A negative number will return the last n records.


First 5 results
SELECT * FROM ratings LIMIT 5;
Last 5 results
SELECT * FROM ratings LIMIT -5;
Range results - this will return records 3, 4 and 5
SELECT * FROM ratings LIMIT 2,5;

negative range parameters will return results from the bottom of the table. Assuming a table with n records, the following will return records between n-7 (exclusive) and n-3 (inclusive), i.e {n-6, n-5, n-4, n-3}. Both upperBound and lowerBound must be negative numbers, in this case:

Range results (negative)
SELECT * FROM ratings LIMIT -7, -3;