# How to Use the LEAST() Function in MySQL

Contents

In this article, you will learn how to use the LEAST() function in MySQL.

## Using the LEAST() function in MySQL

The LEAST() function in MySQL is used to retrieve the smallest value from a list of expressions.

### Syntax

The basic syntax of the LEAST() function in MySQL is as follows:

`LEAST(value1, value2, ...., value_n)`

The LEAST() function accepts a list of one or more expressions or column names separated by commas as parameters. The LEAST() function returns the smallest value from the list of expressions.

### Examples

#### Using LEAST() with numeric values

Suppose we have a table called “employees” that contains the following data:

```
+----+----------+-------+--------+
| id | name | salary| bonus |
+----+----------+-------+--------+
| 1 | John | 30000 | 5000 |
| 2 | Mary | 25000 | 7000 |
| 3 | David | 35000 | 2000 |
| 4 | Jennifer | 40000 | 4000 |
+----+----------+-------+--------+
```

Now, if we want to find the employee who has the smallest salary and bonus, we can use the LEAST() function as follows:

```
SELECT name, LEAST(salary, bonus) as lowest
FROM employees;
```

Output:

```
+----------+--------+
| name | lowest |
+----------+--------+
| John | 30000 |
| Mary | 25000 |
| David | 2000 |
| Jennifer | 4000 |
+----------+--------+
```

In the above example, we have used the LEAST() function to find the employee who has the smallest salary and bonus.

#### Using LEAST() with strings

Suppose we have a table called “students” that contains the following data:

```
+----+---------+---------+
| id | name | grade |
+----+---------+---------+
| 1 | John | A |
| 2 | Mary | B |
| 3 | David | C |
| 4 | Jennifer| D |
+----+---------+---------+
```

Now, if we want to find the student who has the lowest grade, we can use the LEAST() function as follows:

```
SELECT name, LEAST(grade) as lowest
FROM students;
```

Output:

```
+----------+--------+
| name | lowest |
+----------+--------+
| John | A |
| Mary | B |
| David | C |
| Jennifer | D |
+----------+--------+
```

In the above example, we have used the LEAST() function to find the student who has the lowest grade.