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Oracle/PLSQL: Dealing with apostrophes/single quotes in strings

Question: How can I handle apostrophes and single quotes in strings? As you know, single quotes start and terminate strings in SQL.

Answer: Now it is first important to remember that in Oracle, you enclose strings in single quotes. The first quote denotes the beginning of the string and the second quote denotes the termination of the string.

If you need to deal with apostrophes/single quotes in strings, your solution depends on where the quote is located in the string.

We'll take a look at 4 scenarios where you might want to place an apostrophe or single quote in a string.

Apostrophe/single quote at start of string

When the apostrophe/single quote is at the start of the string, you need to enter 3 single quotes for Oracle to display a quote symbol. For example:

SELECT '''Hi There'
FROM dual;

would return

'Hi There

Apostrophe/single quote in the middle of a string

When the apostrophe/single quote is in the middle of the string, you need to enter 2 single quotes for Oracle to display a quote symbol. For example:

SELECT 'He''s always the first to arrive'
FROM dual;

would return

He's always the first to arrive

Apostrophe/single quote at the end of a string

When the apostrophe/single quote is at the end of a string, you need to enter 3 single quotes for Oracle to display a quote symbol. For example:

SELECT 'Smiths'''
FROM dual;

would return

Smiths'

Apostrophe/single quote in a concatenated string

If you were to concatenate an apostrophe/single quote in a string, you need to enter 4 single quotes for Oracle to display a quote symbol. For example:

SELECT 'There' || '''' || 's Henry'
FROM dual;

would return

There's Henry