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WHERE clause

WHERE isn't usually considered a standalone clause but rather a part of the MATCH, OPTIONAL MATCH and WITH clauses.

When used next to the WITH clause, the WHERE clause only filters the results, while when used with MATCH and OPTIONAL MATCH it adds constraints to the described patterns.

WHERE should be used directly after MATCH or OPTIONAL MATCH clauses in order to avoid problems with performance or results.

  1. Basic usage
    1.1. Boolean Operators
    1.2. Inequality Operators Operators
    1.3. Filter with node labels
    1.4. Filter with node properties
    1.5. Filter with relationship properties
    1.6. Check if property is not null
  2. String matching
  3. Regular Expressions

Dataset

The following examples are executed with this dataset. You can create this dataset locally by executing the queries at the end of the page: Dataset queries.

Data set

1. Basic Usage

1.1. Boolean Operators

Standard boolean operators like NOT, AND, OR and XOR can be used:

MATCH (c:Country)
WHERE c.language = 'English' AND c.continent = 'Europe'
RETURN c.name;

Output:

+----------------+
| c.name |
+----------------+
| United Kingdom |
+----------------+

1.2. Inequality Operators Operators

Standard inequality operators like <, <=, > and >= can be used:

MATCH (c:Country)
WHERE (c.population > 80000000)
RETURN c.name;

Output:

+---------+
| c.name |
+---------+
| Germany |
+---------+

1.3. Filter with node labels

Nodes can be filtered by their label using the WHERE clause instead of specifying it directly in the MATCH clause:

MATCH (c)
WHERE c:Country
RETURN c.name;

Output:

+----------------+
| c.name |
+----------------+
| Germany |
| France |
| United Kingdom |
+----------------+

1.4. Filter with node properties

Just as labels, node properties can be used in the WHERE clause to filter nodes:

MATCH (c:Country)
WHERE c.population < 70000000
RETURN c.name;

Output:

+----------------+
| c.name |
+----------------+
| France |
| United Kingdom |
+----------------+

1.5. Filter with relationship properties

Just as with node properties, relationship properties can be used as filters:

MATCH (:Country {name: 'United Kingdom'})-[r]-(p)
WHERE r.date_of_start = 2014
RETURN p;

Output:

+---------------------------+
| p |
+---------------------------+
| (:Person {name: "Harry"}) |
| (:Person {name: "Anna"}) |
+---------------------------+

1.6. Check if property is not null

To check if a node or relationship property exists use the IS NOT NULL option:

MATCH (c:Country)
WHERE c.name = 'United Kingdom' AND c.population IS NOT NULL
RETURN c.name, c.population;

Output:

+----------------+----------------+
| c.name | c.population |
+----------------+----------------+
| United Kingdom | 66000000 |
+----------------+----------------+

2. String matching

Apart from comparison and concatenation operators Cypher provides special string operators for easier matching of substrings:

OperatorDescription
a STARTS WITH bReturns true if the prefix of string a is equal to string b.
a ENDS WITH bReturns true if the suffix of string a is equal to string b.
a CONTAINS bReturns true if some substring of string a is equal to string b.
MATCH (c:Country)
WHERE c.name STARTS WITH 'G' AND NOT c.name CONTAINS 't'
RETURN c.name;

Output:

+---------+
| c.name |
+---------+
| Germany |
+---------+

3. Regular expressions

Inside WHERE clause, you can use regular expressions for text filtering. To use a regular expression, you need to use the =~ operator.

For example, finding all Person nodes which have a name ending with a:

MATCH (n:Person) WHERE n.name =~ ".*a$" RETURN n;

Output:

+--------------------------+
| n |
+--------------------------+
| (:Person {name: "Anna"}) |
+--------------------------+

The regular expression syntax is based on the modified ECMAScript regular expression grammar. The ECMAScript grammar can be found here, while the modifications are described in this document.

Dataset queries

We encourage you to try out the examples by yourself. You can get our dataset locally by executing the following query block.

MATCH (n) DETACH DELETE n;

CREATE (c1:Country {name: 'Germany', language: 'German', continent: 'Europe', population: 83000000});
CREATE (c2:Country {name: 'France', language: 'French', continent: 'Europe', population: 67000000});
CREATE (c3:Country {name: 'United Kingdom', language: 'English', continent: 'Europe', population: 66000000});

MATCH (c1),(c2)
WHERE c1.name= 'Germany' AND c2.name = 'France'
CREATE (c2)<-[:WORKING_IN {date_of_start: 2014}]-(p:Person {name: 'John'})-[:LIVING_IN {date_of_start: 2014}]->(c1);

MATCH (c)
WHERE c.name= 'United Kingdom'
CREATE (c)<-[:WORKING_IN {date_of_start: 2014}]-(p:Person {name: 'Harry'})-[:LIVING_IN {date_of_start: 2013}]->(c);

MATCH (p1),(p2)
WHERE p1.name = 'John' AND p2.name = 'Harry'
CREATE (p1)-[:FRIENDS_WITH {date_of_start: 2011}]->(p2);

MATCH (p1),(p2)
WHERE p1.name = 'John' AND p2.name = 'Harry'
CREATE (p1)<-[:FRIENDS_WITH {date_of_start: 2012}]-(:Person {name: 'Anna'})-[:FRIENDS_WITH {date_of_start: 2014}]->(p2);

MATCH (p),(c1),(c2)
WHERE p.name = 'Anna' AND c1.name = 'United Kingdom' AND c2.name = 'Germany'
CREATE (c2)<-[:LIVING_IN {date_of_start: 2014}]-(p)-[:LIVING_IN {date_of_start: 2014}]->(c1);

MATCH (n)-[r]->(m) RETURN n,r,m;