DBMS Notes

Third Normal Form (3NF)

A table will be in the third normal form (3NF) when,

1. It is in the Second Normal form.

2. And, it does not have Transitive Dependency.

According to transitive property A determines B and B determine C. So, “A” can determines C through B, but not directly.

Let explain with Relational table

In the following table Roll_No is the candidate key which determines ExamType and ExamType determines the MaxMarks. So the following table holds transition property. That’s why it in not in 3NF.

Removal of Transitive Property

Transitive property can be removed by dividing the table into its parts.

Let explain with Functional dependency example

Conditions for Questions of 3NF

Any functional dependencies (FD) in relation will be 3NF, if it fulfill the following condition

L.H.S of FD should be a candidate or super key


R.H.S of FD is a prime attribute.

Explanation of 3NF with FD Rules

 Example 01:

Question: Consider a relation R =(ABCD) and  FD= (AB→ C, C→ D). Check Relation is in 3NF or Not?


  • CK ={ AB}
  • Prime attribute ={ A, B}
  • Non-prime Attribute= {C, D}

According to first FD (AB→ C) .The L.H.S of FD contains candidate key so, it is valid for 3rd NF.

According to Second FD (C→ D). The L.H.S of FD is not a candidate key or supper key And R.H.S is also a non-prime attribute. As both conditions false, So this FD is not valid for 3rd NF.

Conclusion: As above all FD’s of a relation are not valid, So relation is not in 3NF.

 Example 02:

Question: Consider a relation R =(ABCD) and  FD= (AB→CD, D→A). Check Relation is in 3NF or Not?


  • First find Candidate key (C.K) = {AB, DB} 
  • Second Find Prime attributes = {A, B, D}
  • Third Find Non-Prime attributes = {C}

Now check for 3NF

  • For first FD in Relation = AB→CD (As L.H.S contains the Candidate key so this FD is suitable for 3NF).
  • For Second FD in Relation = D→A (As L.H.S does not contains the candidate or super key but R.H.S contains the prime attribute so this FD is suitable for 3NF.)

Result: As all FD’s of Relation fulfill the conditions of 3NF so this relation is in 3NF

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