I am strugginling to find out how to execute the below query using drupal's db api

$startdate = '1491001200';
$enddate = '1498690799';
"SELECT * FROM field_data_field_symposium_event_time
    WHERE UNIX_TIMESTAMP(field_symposium_event_time_value) BETWEEN
    $startdate AND $enddate;"

I have tried adding 'addExpression' but does not work. I did it like this

$query = db_select('node','n');
$query->join('field_data_field_symposium_event_time', 'et', 'et.entity_id = n.nid');    
$query->condition('et.field_data_field_symposium_event_time_value',array($day_start, $day_end), 'BETWEEN'));
$result = $query->execute()->fetchAll();

The $result is empty. Is there a way to achieve this as I dont want to write the full query .

2 Answers 2


I believe the addExpression is for SELECT clause expressions


For a WHERE clause expression it should be

$query->where('UNIX_TIMESTAMP(et.field_symposium_event_time_value) BETWEEN :start AND :end', array(':start' => $day_start, ':end' => $day_end));


And then of course remove your $query->condition(...); line.

  • Thank you exactly what I needed. I still dont understand the concept of addExpression.
    – ShanjayG
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 16:45
  • Thanks for the up-vote, but I am wondering if that actually worked. I suddenly realized that addExpression() is for the SELECT cause, and you can use where() for WHERE clause expressions. api.drupal.org/api/drupal/… I will update the answer
    – rjl
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 16:57
  • Yea I upvoted too early. This doesn't work on another conditions, would you know to use where.??
    – ShanjayG
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:00
  • Did you see the updated answer?
    – rjl
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:05
  • I did, this somehow is not working, although it could be because of the format of $start_date and $end_date. they are generated like this $start_date = strtotime(date('Y-m-d 00:00:00', strtotime(04/05/2017))); $end_date = strtotime(date('Y-m-d 00:00:00', strtotime(10/05/2017))); while the field_symposium_event_time_value is in 2017-05-05 17:30:00 format.
    – ShanjayG
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:14

I think that ->addExpression is about adding SQL snippets like yours to modify selected columns right after the SELECT (vs. adding expressions to a WHERE clause).

The ->where() (and ->having()) clauses are what you want.

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