Lexical Conventions

The following lexical conventions for issuing SQL statements apply specifically to the Oracle Database implementation of SQL, but are generally acceptable in other SQL implementations.

When you issue a SQL statement, you can include one or more tabs, carriage returns, spaces, or comments anywhere a space occurs within the definition of the statement. Thus, Oracle Database evaluates the following two statements in the same manner:

SELECT last_name,salary*12,MONTHS_BETWEEN(hire_date, SYSDATE) 
   FROM employees
   WHERE department_id = 30
   ORDER BY last_name;

SELECT last_name,
   salary * 12,
        MONTHS_BETWEEN( hire_date, SYSDATE )
FROM employees
ORDER BY last_name;

Case is insignificant in reserved words, keywords, identifiers and parameters. However, case is significant in text literals and quoted names. Refer to "Text Literals" for a syntax description of text literals.


SQL statements are terminated differently in different programming environments. This documentation set uses the default SQL*Plus character, the semicolon (;).