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MySQL | DATE_SUB method

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Date and Time
schedule Jul 1, 2022
Last updated
local_offer MySQL
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MySQL's DATE_SUB(~) method subtracts the specified time interval from a date or datetime value.

Syntax

SELECT DATE_SUB(date, INTERVAL expr unit);

Parameters

1. date | date/datetime

The date / datetime to subtract the time interval from.

2. expr unit | integer with units

The interval to subtract from the provided date together with its units.

Refer to 'List of units' at the bottom of page for a valid list of units.

Return value

The result of subtracting the specified interval from date.

Examples

Consider the following table about some students:

student_id

fname

lname

day_enrolled

age

username

1

Sky

Towner

2015-12-03

17

stowner1

2

Ben

Davis

2016-04-20

19

bdavis2

3

Travis

Apple

2018-08-14

18

tapple3

4

Arthur

David

2016-04-01

16

adavid4

5

Benjamin

Town

2014-01-01

17

btown5

The above sample table can be created using the code here.

Basic usage

To subtract 2 days from student enrollment dates:

SELECT fname, day_enrolled, DATE_SUB(day_enrolled, INTERVAL 2 DAY)
FROM students;
+----------+--------------+----------------------------------------+
| fname | day_enrolled | DATE_SUB(day_enrolled, INTERVAL 2 DAY) |
+----------+--------------+----------------------------------------+
| Sky | 2015-12-03 | 2015-12-01 |
| Ben | 2016-04-20 | 2016-04-18 |
| Travis | 2018-08-14 | 2018-08-12 |
| Arthur | 2016-04-01 | 2016-03-30 |
| Benjamin | 2014-01-01 | 2013-12-30 |
+----------+--------------+----------------------------------------+

To subtract 2 months from student enrollment dates:

SELECT fname, day_enrolled, DATE_SUB(day_enrolled, INTERVAL 2 MONTH)
FROM students;
+----------+--------------+------------------------------------------+
| fname | day_enrolled | DATE_SUB(day_enrolled, INTERVAL 2 MONTH) |
+----------+--------------+------------------------------------------+
| Sky | 2015-12-03 | 2015-10-03 |
| Ben | 2016-04-20 | 2016-02-20 |
| Travis | 2018-08-14 | 2018-06-14 |
| Arthur | 2016-04-01 | 2016-02-01 |
| Benjamin | 2014-01-01 | 2013-11-01 |
+----------+--------------+------------------------------------------+

Negative intervals

To add 1 day to a date:

SELECT DATE_SUB('2020-01-01', INTERVAL -1 DAY);
+-----------------------------------------+
| DATE_SUB('2020-01-01', INTERVAL -1 DAY) |
+-----------------------------------------+
| 2020-01-02 |
+-----------------------------------------+

Note that there is a separate method DATE_ADD(~) specifically for adding intervals to a date / datetime.

List of units

The below table represents a list of units that are supported:

Unit

Expected Input Format

MICROSECOND

MICROSECONDS

SECOND

SECONDS

MINUTE

MINUTES

HOUR

HOURS

DAY

DAYS

WEEK

WEEKS

MONTH

MONTHS

QUARTER

QUARTERS

YEAR

YEARS

SECOND_MICROSECOND

'SECONDS.MICROSECONDS'

MINUTE_MICROSECOND

'MINUTES:SECONDS.MICROSECONDS'

MINUTE_SECOND

'MINUTES:SECONDS'

HOUR_MICROSECOND

'HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS.MICROSECONDS'

HOUR_SECOND

'HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS'

HOUR_MINUTE

'HOURS:MINUTES'

DAY_MICROSECOND

'DAYS HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS.MICROSECONDS'

DAY_SECOND

'DAYS HOURS:MINUTES:SECONDS'

DAY_MINUTE

'DAYS HOURS:MINUTES'

DAY_HOUR

'DAYS HOURS'

YEAR_MONTH

'YEARS-MONTHS'

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Published by Arthur Yanagisawa
Edited by 0 others
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