I have a query that looks a bit like this:

SELECT * FROM Stuff WHERE name LIKE '[a\]]%'

My goal is to match all names starting with a or ] (closed bracket). However, this seems to match everything starting with a] or \\].

Is this possible without OR, a lot of auto-generated LIKEs?

  • Just want to understand is there any problem to use LIKE multiple times i.e name LIKE 'a%' or (name LIKE ']%') Oct 9, 2019 at 11:19
  • @ShekarKola My actual command has over 40 possible characters, so that would be a pretty long query. Oct 9, 2019 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


You have to escape the ]. That means before any character you want to literally search for, example % or _ or ], you have to add an escape character. For example \% to search for a literal %


CREATE TABLE #Test( text varchar(50) )

INSERT INTO #test  VALUES (']'),('atest'),('zz')

SELECT * FROM #test  WHERE text LIKE '[a\]]%' {escape '\'}

To read more about escape chars in LIKE, you can check :

LIKE Predicate Escape Character

You can also test it using SQL fiddle: SQL Fiddle

  • I escaped it in the query in my question. It doesn't work. Oct 9, 2019 at 10:29
  • Check my example or the link, you have to add : {escape '\'} Oct 9, 2019 at 10:35
  • Hi @YannickLiekens, seems your example can only retrieves the rows that are starting with only a]. Cannot retrieves text starting with a which mentioned in OP Oct 9, 2019 at 11:18
  • @ShekarKola Seems to be working fine? Added a SQL Fiddle link. Oct 9, 2019 at 11:26
  • Hi @YannickLiekens, Fiddle got one "\" and your example got two "\\". Anyway, it works with one escape character Oct 9, 2019 at 11:51

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