When macro language generates a word, the software figures out what to do with that word. The software might incorporate the word into a macro language statement, or it might embed the word as part of a SAS language statement. While that sounds simple, it leads to some interesting coding techniques.
Here is some legitimate code that could appear within a macro definition:
data %do quarter=1 %to 4;
Each word, whether hard-coded or generated by macro language, gets incorporated into the SAS program, producing:
data q1 q2 q3 q4; ...