The MINUS operates on two SQL statements. It takes all the results from the first SQL statement, and then subtract out the ones that are present in the second SQL statement to get the final answer. If the second SQL statement includes results not present in the first SQL statement, such results are ignored.

The syntax is as follows:

[SQL Statement 1]
[SQL Statement 2]

Let’s continue with the same example:

Table Store_Information

store_name Sales Date
Los Angeles $1500 Jan-05-1999
San Diego $250 Jan-07-1999
Los Angeles $300 Jan-08-1999
Boston $700 Jan-08-1999

Table Internet_Sales

Date Sales
Jan-07-1999 $250
Jan-10-1999 $535
Jan-11-1999 $320
Jan-12-1999 $750

and we want to find out all the dates where there are store sales, but no internet sales. To do so, we use the following SQL statement:

SELECT Date FROM Store_Information
SELECT Date FROM Internet_Sales



“Jan-05-1999”, “Jan-07-1999”, and “Jan-08-1999” are the distinct values returned from “SELECT Date FROM Store_Information.” “Jan-07-1999” is also returned from the second SQL statement, “SELECT Date FROM Internet_Sales,” so it is excluded from the final result set.

Please note that the MINUS command will only return distinct values.

Some databases may use EXCEPT instead of MINUS. Please check the documentation for your specific database for the correct usage.

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