When you use MS SQL server you can write a query like this:
SELECT TOP 5 * FROM TABLE
It will return first five rows from the table, and if you use ORDER BY clause at the end this type of query is very useful.
So writing query on MySQL with TOP is impossible... :( . But MySQL has a better solution - LIMIT.
You can write queries like this:
SELECT * FROM TABLE LIMIT 0,12
This query will return 12 records from the first (0) record. You can write even
SELECT * FROM TABLE LIMIT 12,12
This query will return 12 records from 12th record. So this 2 records can be used to divide information into 2 pages by 12 elements.