How to Get the Day from a Date in T-SQL: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide

By Cristian G. Guasch • Updated: 09/23/23 • 9 min read

Have you ever found yourself grappling with date formats in Transact-SQL (T-SQL)? I’ve been there, and I know it can be a bit of a head-scratcher. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you navigate this terrain. This article aims to show you how to extract the day from a date using T-SQL, Microsoft’s extension of SQL.

As data professionals, we often come across situations where we need to manipulate and format dates. Knowing how to break down a date into its components – year, month, and day – is an essential skill. Whether you’re looking to filter records based on specific days or simply want more flexibility in displaying dates, mastering this skill will make your life so much easier.

So let’s dive right in! In this piece, we’ll walk through the basic steps of extracting the day from a date field in T-SQL. You’ll gain practical knowledge that’ll help streamline your database queries and make them more efficient. Trust me; it’s simpler than you might think!

Understanding T-SQL and Its Importance

When I’m working on SQL Server databases, there’s one language I turn to time and again: T-SQL. But why is it so important? Well, let me break it down for you.

T-SQL, or Transact-Structured Query Language if we’re being formal, is Microsoft’s proprietary extension of the standard SQL (Structured Query Language). It’s used in interacting with relational databases – think creating tables, manipulating data, and developing queries. Essentially, T-SQL serves as a powerful tool in our arsenal when dealing with SQL Server databases.

Now that we’ve got the ‘what’ out of the way, you might be asking yourself about the ‘why’. Why should you care about T-SQL? Let me give you several reasons:

  • Complexity: With T-SQL at your fingertips, you’ll be able to handle complex business problems by using its control-of-flow language features like loops or conditional statements.
  • Performance: When compared to other ways of querying SQL Server databases (like ORM tools), T-SQL often turns out more efficient. That means less waiting around for data retrieval!
  • Flexibility: You can achieve almost anything database-related using this robust language – whether it’s running stored procedures or handling error detection and transaction processing.

So what does this mean for us in practice? Imagine we need to extract specific information from a date – say the day component. With just a few lines of code written in T-SQL:

SET @myDate = GETDATE();
SELECT DATEPART(day,@myDate) AS 'Day';

We can swiftly get our answer! This demonstrates how mastering the intricacies of T-SQL can grease the wheels when working with SQL Server databases.

There are common pitfalls though! For example – remember that functions such as DATEPART require the date part and source parameters. If they’re missing, you’ll likely be greeted by an error message instead of your desired result. So, it’s always crucial to double-check your syntax.

In conclusion for this section – T-SQL is but a tool in our toolbox. However, like any other tool, being able to deftly wield it can make all the difference when tackling database-related tasks. And as we delve deeper into how to get the day from a date using T-SQL in subsequent sections, you’ll see just how much of a difference that can be.

Basics of Handling Dates in T-SQL

Let’s dive right into the world of handling dates in T-SQL. Now, it’s essential to grasp that SQL Server utilizes various data types to store date/time values. These include DATE, which stores the date alone; TIME, for storing time only; and DATETIME and SMALLDATETIME, which you’ll use when both date and time components are needed.

So, how do we extract a day from a date? Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s quite straightforward with the built-in function DAY(). Here’s a simple example:


This code fetches the current system date using GETDATE() and then extracts the day component.

Now, there are some common errors we need to avoid when working with dates in T-SQL. One such mistake is not considering the server’s language setting while inserting or manipulating dates. For instance, if your server is set up in British English, it may interpret ’05/07/2022′ as July 5th rather than May 7th.

It’s also crucial to remember that T-SQL has no specific storage format for dates. When you retrieve a date from SQL Server, it presents it to you based on your session settings – so don’t get confused!

Here are other helpful functions when dealing with dates:

  • MONTH(): To get the month part of a specified date.
  • YEAR(): To fetch the year portion of a given date.

There’s plenty more we could delve into about handling dates in T-SQL – but hey, let’s keep some excitement for later sections!

Step-by-Step Guide: Extract Day from Date in T-SQL

Let’s dig into the mechanics of extracting the day from a date in T-SQL. It’s not as complex as it may sound, once you get the hang of it.

The first step is to understand what we’re dealing with. T-SQL, or Transact-SQL, is Microsoft’s proprietary extension to SQL (Structured Query Language). Its primary function? To interact with relational databases. Now, dates in T-SQL are stored in datetime formats that include both date and time information.

To extract the day from a date, we use the DAY function. Here’s how:


In this example, GETDATE() retrieves the current date and time, while DAY extracts the day component.

What about specific dates though? If you want to extract a day from a particular date rather than today’s date, modify your code like this:

SET @MyDate = '2021-12-01'
SELECT DAY(@MyDate) AS 'Day'

Here @MyDate is a variable holding our specified date. The result will be ‘1’ – representing December 1st.

Watch out for common mistakes! One frequent error is missing out on declaring and setting variables correctly when working with specific dates. Remember to DECLARE your variable before SETting it!

Another typical blunder lies in confusing ORDER BY clauses with SELECT statements. While ORDER BY organizes data based on selected columns, SELECT pulls those columns out for viewing – they serve different purposes!

Remembering these tips can make your journey through T-SQL smoother and more productive!

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Getting the Day from a Date

When I first started using T-SQL, one of the issues that baffled me was getting the day from a date. It’s not as straightforward as it seems and there are some common mistakes that can trip you up. Let me share those with you in hopes of saving you some time and frustration.

One mistake I’ve seen quite often is attempting to use the DAY() function on a string instead of a date. For example:

SELECT DAY('2021-12-31')

This won’t work because DAY() expects its argument to be a date, not a string. To avoid this error, ensure your input is always a valid date.

Another pitfall lies in confusing the DAY() function with the DATEPART() function. Here’s an example:

SELECT DATEPART(day, '2021-12-31')

While both will return the day part of a date, they differ in important ways. Specifically, if you’re using SQL Server 2008 or later, DATEPART() can also take weekday or week parameters which might lead to unexpected results if misused.

The third common mistake I’ve noticed involves ignoring time zone differences when extracting the day from datetime values. This becomes crucial if your data spans multiple time zones and each hour could potentially change the day value! A quick fix for this would be converting all datetime values to UTC before using any functions like so:

SELECT DAY(CONVERT(datetimeoffset(0), GETUTCDATE()))

Lastly but importantly – keep an eye out for NULL dates! If your data contains nulls and you don’t handle them properly while extracting days, it’ll stop your query dead in its tracks throwing exceptions.

So remember – validate your inputs; know what each function does; consider time zones; and always handle nulls. Avoid these common T-SQL pitfalls and getting the day from a date will be a breeze!

Conclusion: Mastering Date Manipulation in T-SQL

Mastering date manipulation in T-SQL isn’t as daunting as one might initially think. With a solid understanding of the right functions and a little bit of practice, I’ve found that navigating through dates can be quite straightforward. Let’s break this down.

One key function I’ve come across is DATEPART(). This handy tool allows me to isolate specific parts of a date value – it’s perfect when I only need to pull out the day from a given date. Here’s how you’d use it:

SELECT DATEPART(day, '2022-04-17') AS Day;

In this example, DATEPART() will return 17, which is the day component from our sample date.

Now let’s talk about common mistakes! A frequent error I see is people mixing up ‘day’ with ‘weekday’. It’s crucial to remember that ‘day’ will get you the day of the month while ‘weekday’ provides you with the day of the week. Easy mistake to make but equally easy to avoid once you’re aware!

Finally, let’s touch on variations. While DATEPART() has served me well in many cases, there are other methods like using DAY(). It functions similarly:

SELECT DAY('2022-04-17') AS Day;

This query also returns 17 as expected.

I hope my insights have shed some light on manipulating dates in T-SQL. Remember that understanding these concepts and practicing them frequently is key to mastering date manipulation within this language!

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