## 6.1.5 Arithmetic Expressions

Arithmetic expressions are used as operands of certain conditional and
arithmetic statements.

An arithmetic expression can consist of any of the following:

- An identifier described as a numeric elementary item (including
numeric functions)

- A numeric literal

- The figurative constant ZERO

- Identifiers and literals, as defined in items 1, 2, and 3, separated
by arithmetic operators

- Two arithmetic expressions, as defined in items 1, 2, 3, and/or 4,
separated by an arithmetic operator

- An arithmetic expression, as defined in items 1, 2, 3, 4, and/or 5,
enclosed in parentheses.

Any arithmetic expression can be preceded by a unary operator.

Identifiers and literals appearing in arithmetic expressions must
represent either numeric elementary items or numeric literals on which
arithmetic can be performed.

If an exponential expression is evaluated as both a positive and a
negative number, the result will always be the positive number. The
square root of 4, for example,

`4` `**` `0.5` `(the` `square` `root` `of` `4)`

is evaluated as +2 and -2. IBM COBOL always returns +2.

If the value of an expression to be raised to a power is zero, the
exponent must have a value greater than zero. Otherwise, the size error
condition exists. In any case where no real number exists as the result
of the evaluation, the size error condition exists.

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