I am trying to write an ELSEIF conditional statement in QGIS Field Calculator (version 1.8.0). I have used an example I found online:

CASE WHEN val < 0 THEN 'negative'
  WHEN val = 0 THEN "neutral'
  ELSE 'positive'

I modified the statement as follows:

CASE WHEN  "GRID_ID"  = 1 THEN 'complete'
  ELSEIF  "GRID_ID"  = 2 THEN "in progress'
  ELSE 'not started'

This statement would not run, the Output preview stated Expression is invalid. The more info stated: Parser Error: syntax error, unexpected COLUMN_REF, expecting WHEN or ELSE or END

If anyone has had this error, what did you do to fix it?


1 Answer 1


You have a few problems in your modified statement.

  • Inconsistent use of quotes around "in progress'
  • You don't need quotes around column names.
  • You're using an "ELSEIF" when it should be a "WHEN".

The following should resolve all three issues and works for me in 1.8.0:

CASE WHEN GRID_ID = 1 THEN 'complete'
  WHEN GRID_ID = 2 THEN 'in progress'
  ELSE 'not started'
  • 2
    "You don't need quotes around column names." You don't but I would still recommend it as it will help the syntax highlighter mark that part as a column.
    – Nathan W
    Nov 3, 2012 at 1:20
  • @NathanW - the Syntax highlighter marks column names in red whether you use quotes or not, at least it does in my 1.8.0 install. Nov 5, 2012 at 12:23
  • 1
    It does indeed. That is pretty embarrassing, I should have known it does that as I wrote the highlighter ;)
    – Nathan W
    Nov 5, 2012 at 13:17
  • @NathanW - Understandable. I can barely remember what I wrote yesterday after all. ;-) Nov 5, 2012 at 14:53

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