# ABS (Transact-SQL)

A mathematical function that returns the absolute (positive) value of the specified numeric expression. (`ABS` changes negative values to positive values. `ABS` has no effect on zero or positive values.)

## Syntax

``````ABS ( numeric_expression )
``````

Note

To view Transact-SQL syntax for SQL Server 2014 (12.x) and earlier versions, see Previous versions documentation.

## Arguments

numeric_expression
An expression of the exact numeric or approximate numeric data type category.

## Return types

The return type depends on the input type of numeric_expression:

Input type Return type
float, real float
decimal(p, s) decimal(38, s)
int, smallint, tinyint int
bigint bigint
money, smallmoney money
bit float

If the result does not fit in the return type, an arithmetic overflow error occurs.

## Examples

This example shows the results of using the `ABS` function on three different numbers.

``````SELECT ABS(-1.0), ABS(0.0), ABS(1.0);
``````

Here is the result set.

``````---- ---- ----
1.0  .0   1.0
``````

The `ABS` function can produce an overflow error when the absolute value of a number exceeds the largest number that the specified data type can represent. For example, the `int` data type has a value range from `-2,147,483,648` to `2,147,483,647`. Computing the absolute value for the signed integer `-2,147,483,648` will cause an overflow error because its absolute value exceeds the positive range limit for the `int` data type.

``````DECLARE @i INT;
SET @i = -2147483648;
SELECT ABS(@i);
GO
``````

Returns this error message:

"Msg 8115, Level 16, State 2, Line 3"

"Arithmetic overflow error converting expression to data type int."