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Last Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Text literals

A text literal is a string that is enclosed by single quotation marks (') or double quotation marks ("). If you enable the ANSI_QUOTES mode, you can use only single quotation marks (') to enclose strings.

Numeric literals

Decimal numeric literals are divided into floating-point values and exact values that consist of integer and fixed-point values. Values can include a decimal point (.) as a decimal separator. Values that are prefixed with a minus sign (-) represent negative values.

Hexadecimal numeric literals only support integer values that are prefixed with 0X, and allow letters from A to F. All letters are case-insensitive.


Datetime literals can be in the text or numeric format.

  • In the text format, you can use full separators, for example, '2015-07-21 12:34:56.789'. You can also use no separators, for example, '20150721'.
  • The numeric format allows you to use only a decimal point (.) to separate the seconds and microseconds, for example, 20150721123456.789.
  • A decimal point (.) must be used between seconds and microseconds. If you require other separators, we recommend that you use only common separators such as hyphens (-), forward slashes (/), and colons (:).

Escape characters

An escape character is a backslash (\) that invokes an alternative interpretation on the following characters in a character sequence. Escape characters are case-sensitive. For example, \b represents the backspace and \B represents the B character.

The following table lists all escape characters.

Escape character



A backspace.


A form feed.


A line feed.


A carriage return.


A tab character.


A backslash (\).


A single quotation mark (').


A double quotation mark (").


An underscore (_).


A percent sign (%).




ASCII 26 (Ctrl+Z).