SQL Standard

“SQL Command Not Properly Ended” Error

When you are working in SQL database, you might have a typo or forget to add a termination semi colon. This can lead to an error from your database engine. In most cases, it involves the error interpretation from the actual database engine.

However, there are cases where the error is parsed by your SQL IDE to provide you with a gentler and simplistic error message. An example is the “SQL Command Not Properly Ended”. This is there to denote that there is an error with your query.

Although the “SQL Command Not Properly Ended” error is not a part of the standard SQL error codes or message, it can help you to quickly identify what is wrong with the query. In most cases, it involves a syntax error in the specified statement.

In this tutorial, we will explore some causes of this error and what to look for when you come across this error message from your SQL parser.

Causes of this Error

There are various reasons as to why you might encounter this error. But since it is a generic syntax error message, we cannot explore all of them. Let us, however, look at some common ones.

1. Missing or Unmatched Parentheses

In SQL, when you need to use the parentheses, you must ensure that you have an opening and a corresponding closing pair.

Therefore, if you have a missing pair, it can lead to this error:

SELECT * FROM employees
WHERE (salary > 50000 AND department = 'HR'


In the given example, there is an opening parenthesis before the “salary > 50000” condition, but there is no closing parenthesis for this condition.

This mismatched parenthesis would result in an “SQL command not properly ended” error because the database system cannot determine where the SQL command should end.

2. Missing or Mismatched Quotation Marks

Missing or mismatched quotation marks can lead to this error. For example, if you are using single or double quotation marks, you must ensure that you have an opening and closing pair.

An example is as follows:

SELECT * FROM products
WHERE product_name = 'Widget


In this case, we have a missing closing single quote in the product name.

3. Incorrect Usage of SQL Keywords

In SQL, most keywords need a corresponding operations. This means that they are not standalone. For example, if you are using the SELECT, DELETE, UPDATE, INSERT, GROUP BY, ORDER BY, and other similar keywords, you must provide what to do with that statement.

This can include selecting rows, deleting table/rows, etc.

Ensure to check what query you are running and ensure that it is doing the operation after.

4. Missing Semicolon

As you know, you must terminate any SQL statement using a semicolon. In some databases, missing the semicolon will result in an error.

5. Incomplete Subqueries or Subexpressions

If you wish to use the subqueries or subexpressions in your SQL statement, ensure that they are complete and correctly nested within the main query.

Other Causes

The previous causes are some of the common causes of this error. However, there are others that are not so renowned.

These include:

  1. Incorrect use of SQL operators
  2. Missing or extra SQL clauses
  3. Unescaped special characters


To troubleshoot the “SQL command not properly ended” error, carefully review the target SQL statement and pay close attention to the syntax, punctuation, and keyword usage. This can help you identify the actual cause.

About the author

John Otieno

My name is John and am a fellow geek like you. I am passionate about all things computers from Hardware, Operating systems to Programming. My dream is to share my knowledge with the world and help out fellow geeks. Follow my content by subscribing to LinuxHint mailing list