Incorrect syntax near ''

I'm trying to run the following fairly simple query in SQL Server Management Studio:

SELECT TOP 1000 * 
    master.sys.procedures as procs
left join 
    master.sys.parameters as params on procs.object_id = params.object_id

This seems totally correct, but I keep getting the following error:

Msg 102, Level 15, State 1, Line 6 Incorrect syntax near ''.

It works if I take out the join and only do a simple select:

    master.sys.procedures as procs

But I need the join to work. I don't even have the string '' in this query, so I can't figure out what it doesn't like.


Such unexpected problems can appear when you copy the code from a web page or email and the text contains unprintable characters like individual CR or LF and non-breaking spaces.

The error for me was that I read the SQL statement from a text file, and the text file was saved in the UTF-8 with BOM (byte order mark) format.

To solve this, I opened the file in Notepad++ and under Encoding, chose UTF-8. Alternatively you can remove the first three bytes of the file with a hex editor.

Panagiotis Kanavos is right, sometimes copy and paste T-SQL can make appear unwanted characters...

I finally found a simple and fast way (only Notepad++ needed) to detect which character is wrong, without having to manually rewrite the whole statement: there is no need to save any file to disk.

It's pretty quick, in Notepad++:

  • Click "New file"
  • Check under the menu "Encoding": the value should be "Encode in UTF-8"; set it if it's not
  • Paste your text
  • From Encoding menu, now click "Encode in ANSI" and check again your text

You should easily find the wrong character(s)

I was using ADO.NET and was using SQL Command as:

 string query =
"SELECT * " +
"FROM table_name" +
"Where id=@id";

the thing was i missed a whitespace at the end of "FROM table_name"+ So basically it said

string query = "SELECT * FROM table_nameWHERE id=@id";

and this was causing the error.

Hope it helps

I got this error because I pasted alias columns into a DECLARE statement.

DECLARE @userdata TABLE(
f.TABLE_CATALOG nvarchar(100),
f.TABLE_NAME nvarchar(100),
f.COLUMN_NAME nvarchar(100),
p.COLUMN_NAME nvarchar(100)
SELECT * FROM @userdata 

ERROR: Msg 102, Level 15, State 1, Line 2 Incorrect syntax near '.'.

DECLARE @userdata TABLE(
f_TABLE_CATALOG nvarchar(100),
f_TABLE_NAME nvarchar(100),
f_COLUMN_NAME nvarchar(100),
p_COLUMN_NAME nvarchar(100)
SELECT * FROM @userdata


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