I have a list of street names in this format:

Neil Young

And a shapefile ("input_streets") with street names in this format:

Elsinore Av
Neil Young St
Penny Lane
Fall Dr

I want to select streets in the "input_streets" shapefile that are also found in the 1st list, but you can see my challenge, the first list doesn't have the street suffixes, the second list does. This means a simple expression like this won't work:

expression = '"STREET" = '+ "'"+ strname"'" 

...where "strname" is just the "STRNAME" values from the first list. The suffixes in "STREET" values 'get in the way'.

I need a way to give QGIS an expression that can compare ONLY the Street Names (their Prefixes, Ignoring the Suffixes, whatever they happen to be: St, Lane, Rd, etc.)

Something like:

street = STREET[0:firstspace]

But can this be done? Can one refer to the column heading of a table with RESTRICTIONS on HOW MUCH of the column value to USE in an expression? (ie. "give me the value in STREET but stop at the first space")


street = STREET[0:firstspace]
expression = 'street = '+ "'"+ strname"'" 

Or can one only refer to the column heading in an expression, and whatever values happen to be in that column, you're stuck with?

  • I would calculate in the shapefile with a python syntax ''.join(split(NameField," ")[-1:]) and join on that; It would probably be best to upcase or lowercase both fields though : Neil young != Neil Young. May 19, 2016 at 1:23
  • Thanks @Michael Miles-Stimson, but can you explain further? You're suggesting I perform a join between the list and the shapefile? There are no common columns on which to do that. Thank you.
    – Waterman
    May 19, 2016 at 2:02
  • I'm suggesting you make a common column. May 19, 2016 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


Try using an expression like this:

left( "STRNAME", strpos( "STREET", "STRNAME") )


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