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Reading SQL Syntax Diagrams

The syntax of SQL statements is presented in the form of syntax diagrams, showing how the statements may be written. The diagrams are read from left to right.

Valid statements are constructed by following the lines in the diagrams and "picking up" elements of the syntax on the way.

It is not practical to give the full, exhaustive syntax of each SQL statement in a single diagram. Instead, many of the syntax diagrams for statements in SQL Statement Descriptions refer to "language elements", which are themselves expanded into syntax diagrams in SQL Language Elements.

For each syntax diagram, references are given to where in the manual the expansion of the language elements may be found.

A sample diagram illustrating most of the features of the syntax diagrams is given at the end of this chapter, together with some valid and some invalid formulations.

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