Syntax vs Grammar: Difference and Comparison

Languages are fun to learn. However, only those who understand the Grammar and Syntax can quickly write and speak any language correctly.

Key Takeaways

  1. The syntax is the set of rules governing sentence structure and the arrangement of words, while grammar encompasses syntax and additional linguistic rules.
  2. Syntax focuses on word order and the relationships between words, while grammar includes aspects like spelling, punctuation, and morphology.
  3. Syntax errors result in sentences that are difficult to understand, while grammar errors can lead to clarity and interpretation.

Syntax vs Grammar

The difference between Syntax and Grammar is that Syntax is a part of Grammar that mainly deals with putting together words in the proper sense. In contrast, Grammar is a set of rules that defines the grammatical structure of a language.

Syntax vs Grammar
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Language Quiz

Language quiz helps us to increase our language skills

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What is a word or phrase used to describe or evaluate, often in a literary, artistic, or musical context, called?

2 / 10

Choose the correct word: The new __________ policy is not acceptable.

3 / 10

What is the difference between syntax and semantics?

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Put ________ bag on ________ table, then give me ________ apple and ________ bar of chocolate.

5 / 10

Choose the antonym for the word "big":

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Choose the correct word: The problem was finally __________.

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What is the term for a word that shows a relationship between a noun and other words in a sentence?

8 / 10

What type of language uses gestures and facial expressions to communicate?

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What is the term for a word or phrase that has multiple meanings?

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Choose the word that means the opposite of "ascend":

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However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on specific parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonSyntaxGrammar
MeaningSyntax deals with sentence structure only.Grammar is a group of rules setting forth the correct usage of language.
ScopeThe syntax is mainly about the order of the words. The syntax does not include Grammar. Hence it can be considered as having a limited scope.Grammar includes Syntax and hence can be considered as having a broad scope.
SubsetsThe syntax does not have any further diversificationGrammar is further diversified into two types, viz. Morphology and Syntax
Level of OperationSyntax operates at a micro level; that is, Syntax is all about word structuring or determining which word comes before and after another word.Grammar operates at a macro level; that is, Grammar is all about the correct structure of the overall language and not just focusing on words and sentences.
CompositionThe syntax has a free and easy nature or, in other words, can be considered optional. The syntax does not tell anyone how to use or lay down rules.Grammar is more authoritarian. It lays down specific rules to be followed regarding the grammatical structure of language.
ApplicabilityMost people may not be aware of Syntax structures. Syntax is more of a more profound study which may be known to literature or language scholars.Most people will be aware of Grammar and the rules related to it. Grammar is something that is followed in daily use.
Order of PrecedenceThe syntax is learned after studying GrammarGrammar is learned first before checking Syntax

 

What is Syntax?

The syntax is derived from the French term “sintaxe. Syntax, in simple meaning, means arranging together. From a language perspective, Syntax can be considered an arrangement of words.

The syntax is a part of Grammar. The syntax is how linguistic elements (such as words) are combined to form constituents (phrases or clauses).

Learning Syntax is essential to create well-defined and structured sentences intended to convey the correct meaning and perspective of the speaker or writer. The syntax is a linguistic discipline which studies the structure of a sentence.

The syntax is a subset of Grammar. In this sense, Syntax operates at a micro-level to understand and study a particular set of rules and principles for the formation of organized sentences.

 

What is Grammar?

Grammar means a group of rules or procedures that dictate how a language should be used (written/spoken) correctly.

Grammar is further subdivided into two categories. One is known as morphology, and the other is known as Syntax. Morphology is mainly to do with the internal structure of words.

Grammar has macro scope because it lays down the foundation and general rules for constructing sentences and words.

Grammar is a set of structural rules which dictates how to construct sentences, words, and phrases in a language. Grammar can be regarded as putting forth a particular position or proposition.

grammar

Main Differences Between Syntax and Grammar

  1. The syntax is not so familiar in daily usage. Grammar plays an essential part in daily use.
  2. The syntax is optional. Grammar has a prescriptive approach.

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References
  1. https://hpsg.hu-berlin.de/~stefan/Pub/unifying-everything.pdf
  2. https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789004368897/BP000005.xml

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Syntax vs Grammar: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article provides a significant understanding of syntax and grammar, breaking down their differences effectively.

  2. Avatar of Chelsea Richards
    Chelsea Richards

    The distinction between syntax and grammar was explained in an engaging manner, great read.

  3. Avatar of Griffiths Naomi
    Griffiths Naomi

    The analysis of syntax and grammar differences were presented clearly and helped me understand their unique roles.

  4. The comparison between syntax and grammar is fascinating, especially understanding the scope and applicability.

  5. It’s fascinating to see the contrast and comparison between syntax and grammar, both play a crucial role in language.

  6. This article explains the intricate differences between syntax and grammar very well. It’s quite informative.

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