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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
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7.20.2 IN

expression IN (subquery)

The right-hand side is a parenthesized subquery, which must return exactly one column. The left-hand expression is evaluated and compared to each row of the subquery result. The result of IN is “true” if any equal subquery row is found. The result is “false” if no equal row is found (including the case where the subquery returns no rows).

Note that if the left-hand expression yields null, or if there are no equal right-hand values and at least one right-hand row yields null, the result of the IN construct will be null, not false. This is in accordance with SQL's normal rules for Boolean combinations of null values.

As with EXISTS, it's unwise to assume that the subquery will be evaluated completely.

row_constructor IN (subquery)

The left-hand side of this form of IN is a row constructor, as described in section 2.2.12 Row Constructors. The right-hand side is a parenthesized subquery, which must return exactly as many columns as there are expressions in the left-hand row. The left-hand expressions are evaluated and compared row-wise to each row of the subquery result. The result of IN is “true” if any equal subquery row is found. The result is “false” if no equal row is found (including the case where the subquery returns no rows).

As usual, null values in the rows are combined per the normal rules of SQL Boolean expressions. Two rows are considered equal if all their corresponding members are non-null and equal; the rows are unequal if any corresponding members are non-null and unequal; otherwise the result of that row comparison is unknown (null). If all the per-row results are either unequal or null, with at least one null, then the result of IN is null.

ISBN 9781906966041The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition