A statement ends at a newline character (‘ \n ’) or a line separator character . The line separator character is target specific and described in the Syntax section of each target's documentation. Not all targets support a line separator character. The newline or line separator character is considered to be part of the preceding statement. Newlines and separators within character constants are an exception: they do not end statements.
An empty statement is allowed, and may include whitespace. It is ignored.
A statement begins with zero or more labels, optionally followed by a key symbol which determines what kind of statement it is. The key symbol determines the syntax of the rest of the statement. If the symbol begins with a dot ‘ . ’ then the statement is an assembler directive: typically valid for any computer. If the symbol begins with a letter the statement is an assembly language instruction : it assembles into a machine language instruction. Different versions of as for different computers recognize different instructions. In fact, the same symbol may represent a different instruction in a different computer's assembly language.
A label is a symbol immediately followed by a colon (
). Whitespace before a label or after a colon is permitted, but you may not have whitespace between a label's symbol and its colon. See Labels
For HPPA targets, labels need not be immediately followed by a colon, but the definition of a label must begin in column zero. This also implies that only one label may be defined on each line.
label: .directive followed by something another_label: # This is an empty statement. instruction operand_1, operand_2, ...