PL/SQL: Go To Statements

GOTO statement in PL/SQL programming language provides an unconditional jump from the GOTO to a labeled statement in the same subprogram.

NOTE − The use of GOTO statement is not recommended in any programming language because it makes it difficult to trace the control flow of a program, making the program hard to understand and hard to modify. Any program that uses a GOTO can be rewritten so that it doesn’t need the GOTO.


The syntax for a GOTO statement in PL/SQL is as follows −

GOTO label;



<< label >>


Flow Diagram




   a number(2) := 10;



   — while loop execution 

   WHILE a < 20 LOOP

   dbms_output.put_line (‘value of a: ‘ || a);

      a := a + 1;

      IF a = 15 THEN

         a := a + 1;

         GOTO loopstart;

      END IF;




When the above code is executed at the SQL prompt, it produces the following result −

value of a: 10

value of a: 11

value of a: 12

value of a: 13

value of a: 14

value of a: 16

value of a: 17

value of a: 18

value of a: 19 

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Restrictions with GOTO Statement

  • A GOTO statement cannot branch into an IF statement, CASE statement, LOOP statement or sub-block.
  • A GOTO statement cannot branch from one IF statement clause to another or from one CASE statement WHEN clause to another.
  • A GOTO statement cannot branch from an outer block into a sub-block (i.e., an inner BEGIN-END block).
  • A GOTO statement cannot branch out of a subprogram. To end a subprogram early, either use the RETURN statement or have GOTO branch to a place right before the end of the subprogram.
  • A GOTO statement cannot branch from an exception handler back into the current BEGIN-END block. However, a GOTO statement can branch from an exception handler into an enclosing block.

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