# MySQL ABS() and SIGN() [With Easy Examples] In this tutorial, we will learn about the MySQL `ABS()` and the MySQL `SIGN()` functions. The `ABS()` function is used to find the absolute value of a number. The absolute value of a number is the non-negative value of the number. MySQL `ABS()` disregards the sign of a number and returns the result as a positive number regardless.

The MySQL `SIGN()` function is used to return the sign of a number. The `SIGN()` function returns the following:

• If number > 0, then SIGN() returns 1.
• If number = 0, then SIGN() returns 0.
• If number < 0, then SIGN() returns -1.

## Syntax of MySQL ABS()

```ABS(expression);
```

Where ‘expression’ can be a number or a numeric expression.

## Syntax of MySQL SIGN()

```SIGN(expression);
```

Where ‘expression’ can be a number or a numeric expression.

## Examples of MySQL ABS()

Let us take a look at a few examples of `ABS()`. We will use aliases with the `SELECT` statement to make our output readable.

### MySQL ABS() On A Positive Number

Let us find out the absolute value of a positive number. The absolute value of a positive number is the same as its value. We’ll demonstrate this using the following query:

```SELECT ABS(14) AS AbsoluteValue;
```

And the output is:

### ABS() Of A Negative Number

How about finding the absolute value of a negative number? While finding the absolute value of a negative number, `ABS()` disregards the sign of the negative number and returns a positive number. We can see this in the below example,

```SELECT ABS(-2) AS AbsoluteValue;
```

And the output is:

### ABS() Of Zero

The absolute value of zero is zero. We can demonstrate this below –

```SELECT ABS(0) AS AbsoluteValue;
```

And the output is,

### MySQL ABS() On Mathematical Expressions

As I mentioned in the syntax, we can also pass a mathematical expression as a parameter to the MySQL `ABS()` function. Let us also take this opportunity to compare the results of expressions with and without `ABS()`. Consider the below query,

```SELECT -6+4;
SELECT ABS(-6+4) AS AbsoluteValue;
```

And the output is,

As you can see, the statement with `ABS()` ignores the negative sign.

## Examples of MySQL SIGN()

Let us look at the following examples.

```SELECT SIGN(35);
```

And the output we get is:

Since 35 is a positive number, its sign is + and hence, the output is 1. As we discussed earlier, 1 means that the number is greater than 0 and is positive.

Now let us look at another basic example. Consider the below query,

```SELECT SIGN(-35);
```

And the output we get is,

Since -35 is a negative number, its sign is – and hence, the output is -1. As we discussed earlier, -1 means that the number is less than 0 and is negative.

Finally, what if we pass 0 as the number in the `SIGN()` function?

```SELECT SIGN(0);
```

And the output we get is,

As we discussed in the introduction, if 0 is passed to `SIGN()`, then the function returns 0 itself.

## ABS() and SIGN() – Working With Tables

Let us take a look at a couple of simple examples of `ABS()` and `SIGN()` while working with tables. Consider the below Shops table.

Let us find the absolute values of the profit percent values for shops with id 6 and 7. We will use the `WHERE` clause along with the `IN` operator. The query is:

```SELECT ProfitPercent, ABS(ProfitPercent) FROM Shops WHERE ID IN (6, 7);
```

And the output is,

Let us now find the sign of all values in the `ProfitPercent` column. We will use the below query,

```SELECT ProfitPercent, SIGN(ProfitPercent) FROM Shops;
```

And the output is,

## Conclusion

`ABS()` and `SIGN()` though not widely used in general, prove quite important while working with large databases and tables for a variety of operations. I would encourage you to check out the below references.