Statement in programming

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A grammatical construction in a programming language expressing a finite action when carrying out a program on a computer. In imperative programming languages (e.g. Algol; Fortran), a statement is a command to carry out a prescribed action. In applicative languages (e.g. Lisp), a statement is a notation of the result of having carried out the prescribed action. In some languages (e.g. Algol-68) the imperative and applicative properties are both used: Each statement generates a certain value, perhaps an empty one, and carries out (as an indirect effect) the prescribed action. There are usually two parts to the action of a statement: informational and logical.

The informational part consists of working out a value as a function of the memory state, or, more generally, of converting the memory state to another state.

The logical part consists of selecting from the program another statement, which can be carried out after the given one. The determinacy or non-determinacy of the fulfillment of the program depends on the single-valuedness of the selection.

See also Algorithmic language.

How to Cite This Entry:
Statement in programming. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by A.P. Ershov (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article