Given following 2 tables a, b:

table a

ID job
1  farmer
2  physician
3  bank clerk

table b

bID ID lang job
1   1  en   farmer
2   2  en   physician
3   3  en   bank clerk
4   2  de   Arzt
5   1  fr   paysan


SELECT a.ID, a.job, b.job FROM a LEFT JOIN b ON a.ID=b.ID WHERE b.lang='de'


a.ID a.job        b.job
1    farmer       -
2    physician    Arzt
3    bank clerk   -

actual result:

2    physician    Arzt

What's wrong with the LEFT JOIN? Do I need some (())?

  • 1
    Left join tries to add NULL-valued parts for right table when corresponding record(s) not exists... but then your condition in WHERE ejects all of them. And LEFT JOIN acts as INNER JOIN (with a lot of additional work). Remember - if you want any condition for right table, it is to be placed into ON section.
    – Akina
    Aug 20, 2018 at 4:58

2 Answers 2


In your query left join is performed only using only the condition a.ID=b.ID and then results are filtered based on condition b.lang='de'. You need to add both conditions on the left join:

SELECT a.ID, a.job, b.job 
ON (a.ID=b.ID and b.lang='de')
  • 1
    For Access SQL, the composite ON condition must be within parenthesis like ON (a.ID=b.ID and b.lang='de')
    – C Perkins
    Aug 21, 2018 at 2:39
  • 1
    That works great in T-SQL or probably any other flavour of SQL, but I get "JOIN expression not supported" whenever I try to use a literal in the ON condition in Microsoft Access. It doesn't appear to be supported by Access SQL: learn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/vba/access/concepts/… Nov 7, 2020 at 12:39

Here create an alias of specific language table as c.

SELECT a.ID, a.job, c.job FROM a
(SELECT * FROM b WHERE lang='de') as c
ON a.ID=c.ID
  • This solutions works perfectly in Microsoft Access. Thanks! Nov 7, 2020 at 12:40

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