The meaning of DDL

The SQL commands can be categorized into 4 main subsets:

  • DDL – Data Definition Language. This includes these statements: CREATE, DROP, ALTER, TRUNCATE, RENAME, COMMENT
  • DQl – Data Query Language. This includes all SELECT statements.
  • DML – Data Manipulation Language. This includes INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements.
  • DCL – Data Control Language. This includes GRANT and REVOKE statements.

In this post, we are going to learn more about the DDL - Data Definition Language subsets.

DDL statements are used to make a change to the structure of the database schema, which involves creating, renaming, modifying, or deleting a database object such as database, table, and view.

It depends on which database management system you are using to have a corresponding subset of DDL statements as the functions and syntaxes might vary. But here is the list of common DDL statements in SQL:

  • CREATE: to create a new database or its objects such as table or view
  • DROP: to delete an existing database or its object
  • ALTER: to modify the structure of an existing database
  • TRUNCATE: to remove all existing records from the table and make it empty
  • COMMENT: to add comments to the data dictionary
  • RENAME: to rename a database or its object


  • Create a new table:
CREATE TABLE table_name (
   column1 datatype,
   column2 datatype,
   column3 datatype,
  • Drop an existing table:
DROP TABLE table_name;
  • Alter an existing table to add a new column:
ALTER TABLE table_name
ADD column_name datatype;
  • Truncate a table:
TRUNCATE TABLE table_name;
  • Rename table:
ALTER TABLE table_name
RENAME TO new_table_name;
  • Comment on a table:
COMMENT ON TABLE table_name IS 'Your comment';

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