Combines records from two tables whenever there are matching values in a common field.


FROM table1 INNER JOIN table2 ON table1.field1compopr table2.field2

The INNER JOIN operation has these parts:



table1, table2

The names of the tables from which records are combined.

field1, field2

The names of the fields that are joined. If they are not numeric, the fields must be of the same data type and contain the same kind of data, but they do not have to have the same name.


Any relational comparison operator: "=," "<," ">," "<=," ">=," or "<>."


You can use an INNER JOIN operation in any FROM clause. This is the most common type of join. Inner joins combine records from two tables whenever there are matching values in a field common to both tables.

You can use INNER JOIN with the Departments and Employees tables to select all the employees in each department. In contrast, to select all departments (even if some have no employees assigned to them) or all employees (even if some are not assigned to a department), you can use a LEFT JOIN or RIGHT JOIN operation to create an outer join.

If you try to join fields containing Memo or OLE Object data, an error occurs.

You can join any two numeric fields of like types. For example, you can join on AutoNumber and Long fields because they are like types. However, you cannot join Single and Double types of fields.

The following example shows how you could join the Categories and Products tables on the CategoryID field:

SELECT CategoryName, ProductName
FROM Categories INNER JOIN Products
ON Categories.CategoryID = Products.CategoryID;

In the preceding example, CategoryID is the joined field, but it is not included in the query output because it is not included in the SELECT statement. To include the joined field, include the field name in the SELECT statement — in this case, Categories.CategoryID.

You can also link several ON clauses in a JOIN statement, using the following syntax:

SELECT fields
FROM table1 INNER JOIN table2
ON table1.field1compoprtable2.field1 AND
ON table1.field2compoprtable2.field2) OR
ON table1.field3compoprtable2.field3)];

You can also nest JOIN statements using the following syntax:

SELECT fields
(table2 INNER JOIN [( ]table3
[INNER JOIN [( ]tablex [INNER JOIN ...)]
ON table3.field3compoprtablex.fieldx)]
ON table2.field2compoprtable3.field3)
ON table1.field1compoprtable2.field2;

A LEFT JOIN or a RIGHT JOIN may be nested inside an INNER JOIN, but an INNER JOIN may not be nested inside a LEFT JOIN or a RIGHT JOIN.

Need more help?

Expand your skills


Get new features first


Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!