What Is an Example of Machine Language?

In machine language, "00000010" might mean "Turn light off," while "00001000" might mean "Brighten light by 10 percent." Examples of machine language vary from machine to machine, but all are numeric instructions that tell a machine what operation to perform.

Because it is difficult to interpret a byte of data by eye, programming rarely uses machine language directly. In the cited example, the programmer may write "OFF," and the machine would save the command as "00000010," which is the machine language code for turning the light off. Programming languages, such as PASCAL or COBOL, are intermediaries between machine language and human programmers.