12.2.10.9. Subquery Errors

There are some errors that apply only to subqueries. This section describes them.

  • Unsupported subquery syntax:

    ERROR 1235 (ER_NOT_SUPPORTED_YET)
    SQLSTATE = 42000
    Message = "This version of MySQL doesn't yet support
    'LIMIT & IN/ALL/ANY/SOME subquery'"
    

    This means that MySQL does not support statements of the following form:

    SELECT * FROM t1 WHERE s1 IN (SELECT s2 FROM t2 ORDER BY s1 LIMIT 1)
    
  • Incorrect number of columns from subquery:

    ERROR 1241 (ER_OPERAND_COL)
    SQLSTATE = 21000
    Message = "Operand should contain 1 column(s)"
    

    This error occurs in cases like this:

    SELECT (SELECT column1, column2 FROM t2) FROM t1;
    

    You may use a subquery that returns multiple columns, if the purpose is row comparison. In other contexts, the subquery must be a scalar operand. See Section 12.2.10.5, “Row Subqueries”.

  • Incorrect number of rows from subquery:

    ERROR 1242 (ER_SUBSELECT_NO_1_ROW)
    SQLSTATE = 21000
    Message = "Subquery returns more than 1 row"
    

    This error occurs for statements where the subquery must return at most one row but returns multiple rows. Consider the following example:

    SELECT * FROM t1 WHERE column1 = (SELECT column1 FROM t2);
    

    If SELECT column1 FROM t2 returns just one row, the previous query will work. If the subquery returns more than one row, error 1242 will occur. In that case, the query should be rewritten as:

    SELECT * FROM t1 WHERE column1 = ANY (SELECT column1 FROM t2);
    
  • Incorrectly used table in subquery:

    Error 1093 (ER_UPDATE_TABLE_USED)
    SQLSTATE = HY000
    Message = "You can't specify target table 'x'
    for update in FROM clause"
    

    This error occurs in cases such as the following, which attempts to modify a table and select from the same table in the subquery:

    UPDATE t1 SET column2 = (SELECT MAX(column1) FROM t1);
    

    You can use a subquery for assignment within an UPDATE statement because subqueries are legal in UPDATE and DELETE statements as well as in SELECT statements. However, you cannot use the same table (in this case, table t1) for both the subquery FROM clause and the update target.

For transactional storage engines, the failure of a subquery causes the entire statement to fail. For nontransactional storage engines, data modifications made before the error was encountered are preserved.

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