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Check if an entered email address exists in 2 tables

peps03 asked
Last Modified: 2012-05-28

I have two tables, students and companies which both have a column named email. I need to check if an entered emailaddress exists in the tables.

I tried this:

$query = "select
      NOT EXISTS (select email from students where email = '$email[2]') AND
      NOT EXISTS (select email from companies where email = '$email[2]')";

      $result = mysql_query($query) or die(mysql_error());
      if (mysql_num_rows($result))

But this always returns that the email address already exists.

How should i preform this check correctly?
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Top Expert 2010

What are you trying to do?

If the email addy exists in neither table, then your SQL statement returns true.  If it exists in at least one of the tables, it returns false.


that is what i am trying. but it always returns false
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Author of the Year 2014
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Great thanks.

Simple solution, thought there would be some brilliant solution to stuff it into 1 query, but lets unnecessary not complicate thing too much!
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Author of the Year 2014

@peps03: thanks for the points.  In my experience, the quest for "brilliant solutions" sometimes complicates my life.  So instead I seek solutions that are lazy, pedestrian, simple-stupid and ordinary.  It has been a quest that has repeatedly struck gold, giving me the fastest, most accurate answers.  Thud!  I don't get points at EE by being smarter than anyone else; I get points by plodding along well-traveled paths toward well-defined goals.

All my best, ~Ray
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