Syntax

What Does Syntax Mean?

In programming, syntax refers to the rules that specify the correct combined sequence of symbols that can be used to form a correctly structured program using a given programming language. Programmers communicate with computers through the correctly structured syntax, semantics and grammar of a programming language.

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Techopedia Explains Syntax

Programming syntax contains strings similar to words, much like a human language. Correctly formed syntax strings produce syntactically correct sentences within a specified programming language.

Syntax describes how language variables and characters may be combined into strings. Semantics gives meaning to the combined strings, while grammar converts characters into tokens or character strings.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.