Delimited Scope Statements

A delimited scope statement is a statement (for example, an IF statement) which is terminated by (that is, has its end-point determined by) a matching explicit scope terminator (in this case END-IF). Thus, all the statements between a delimited scope statement and its paired explicit scope terminator are deemed to be contained within that delimited scope statement.

Delimited scope statements can be nested, in which case each explicit scope terminator encountered is considered to pair with the nearest preceding unpaired matching delimited scope statement.

Scope delimited statements can also be implicitly terminated, either at the end of a procedural sentence (where all unterminated statements are terminated by the separator period), or by the termination of any containing delimited scope statement.

Note: Not all statements are scope delimitable in this fashion; those statements that are scope delimitable are termed delimited scope statements only if they are explicitly terminated by an explicit scope delimiter.

See the section Explicit And Implicit Scope Terminators in the chapter Concepts of the COBOL Language for further information.