How to Use Inner Joins in SQL

How to Use Inner Joins in SQL

If you’re working with databases, you’ll often need to combine data from multiple tables. One way to do this is through an SQL join. One type of join is the inner join which returns only the matching rows between two tables. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use inner joins in SQL.


Before getting started, you should have some basic knowledge of SQL syntax and understand how to write queries. You should also have access to a database management system, such as MySQL or Oracle, where you can practice writing queries.

Syntax for Inner Join

The syntax for an inner join in SQL is as follows:

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table1
INNER JOIN table2 ON table1.column = table2.column;

In this syntax, you’ll need to specify the columns you want to select from the tables. Then, you’ll need to specify the names of the tables you want to join using the INNER JOIN keyword. Finally, you’ll need to specify the columns that the tables should be joined on using the ON keyword.

Example of Inner Join

Let’s say you have two tables – one containing customer information and another containing order information. You want to find out which customers have placed an order. Here’s what the SQL query would look like:

SELECT customers.customer_name, orders.order_id
FROM customers
INNER JOIN orders ON customers.customer_id = orders.customer_id;

In this example, we’re selecting the customer name and order ID from the customers and orders tables, respectively. We’re joining the two tables on the customer ID column, which is common to both tables.

Output of Example

The output of this query would look something like this:

customer_name | order_id
John Smith    | 10248
Lisa Wong     | 10249
John Smith    | 10250

This output shows that John Smith and Lisa Wong have placed orders.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble with your inner join query, here are some things to check:

  • Make sure that the column names you’re using in your query match the column names in your tables.
  • Make sure that the data types of the columns you’re joining on are the same.
  • Check for any typos in your query, such as misspelled keywords or missing punctuation.


Inner joins are useful when you want to combine data from two tables based on a common column. By using the INNER JOIN keyword and specifying the columns to select and join on, you can easily retrieve the data you need. With practice and experimentation, you’ll become proficient in using inner joins in your SQL queries.