Literals

Literals represent constant values.

The Literals page describes the following functions:

Number Literals

The following is the correct syntax for a number literal:

number_literal ::=
   [+-] digits
   | digits . [ digits ] [ e [+-] digits ]
   | [ digits ] . digits [ e [+-] digits ]
   | digits e[+-]digits

The following is an example of a number literal:

1234

1234.56

12.

.34

123.56e-45

0.23

3.141

42

Note

The actual data type of the value changes based on context, the format used, and the value itself. For example, any number containing the decimal point will be considered FLOAT by default. Any whole number will considered INT, unless the value is larger than the maximum value, in which case the type will become a BIGINT.

String Literals

String literals are string (text) values, encoded either in ASCII or UTF-8. A string literal is quoted with single quotes (') or dollars ($$).

Tip

To use a single quote in a string, repeat the single quote twice. See examples below.

The following is the correct syntax for a string literal:

'This is an example of a string'

'Hello? Is it me you''re looking for?' -- Repeated single quotes are treated as a single quote

$$That is my brother's company's CEO's son's dog's toy$$ -- Dollar-quoted

'1997-01-01' -- This is a string

The actual data type of the value changes based on context, the format used, and the value itself. In the example below, the first value is interpreted as a DATE, while the second is interpreted as a VARCHAR.

INSERT INTO cool_dates(date_col, reason) VALUES ('1955-11-05', 'Doc Brown discovers flux capacitor');

Typed Literals

The following are two examples of the correct syntax for a typed literal:

CAST(literal AS type_name)
literal :: type_name

For more information about supported casts, see Converting and Casting Types.

Syntax Reference

The following is the correct syntax for a syntax reference:

typed_literal ::=
      cast(literal AS type_name)
      | literal :: type_name

literal ::=
      string_literal
      | number_literal
      | NULL | TRUE | FALSE

type_name ::=

    BOOL
    | TINYINT
    | SMALLINT
    | INT
    | BIGINT
    | FLOAT
    | REAL
    | DATE
    | DATETIME
    | VARCHAR ( digits )
    | TEXT ( digits )

The following is an example of a syntax reference:

'1955-11-05' :: date

'TRUE' :: BOOL

CAST('2300' as BIGINT)

CAST(42 :: FLOAT)

Other Constants

The following other constants are available:

  • TRUE and FALSE are interpreted as values of type BOOL.

  • NULL - which has no type by itself. The type is inferred from context during query compilation.