The sql statement is run and the number of rows processed is returned. -all sql statements have to go through various stages. some stages may be skipped. 1 parse every sql statement must be parsed. parsing the statement includes checking the statements syntax and validating the statement, ensuring that all references to objects are correct, and ensuring that the relevant privileges to those objects exist. 2 bind after parsing, the oracle server knows the meaning of the oracle statement but still may not have enough information to execute the statement. the oracle server may need values for any bind variable in the statement. the process of obtaining these values is called binding variables. 3 execute at this point, the oracle server has all necessary information and resources, and the statement is executed. 4 fetch in the fetch stage, rows are selected and ordered (if requested by the query), and each successive fetch retrieves another row of the result, until the last row has been fetched. you can fetch queries, but not the dml statements.