A statement is a COBOL key word (called a verb) followed by its operands. A statement directs either the compiler or the object
program to take some action. There are four types of COBOL statements:
- Compiler-directing statements specify an action to be taken by the Compiler. Only COPY, REPLACE, and USE statements fit this classification.
- Imperative statements specify an unconditional action to be taken by the object program at run-time. Whenever an imperative statement
is allowed, it may consist of a sequence of consecutive imperative statements.
- Conditional statements specify an action to be taken by the object program that is dependent on the truth value of some condition.
- Delimited-scope statements specify their explicit scope terminator. This scope terminator always has "END-" as the first four letters of its
word. A delimited-scope statement contains elements of a conditional nature. Because of the scope-delimiter, however, these
statements may be used anywhere an imperative statement may be.