What is Syntax?

A conceptualization of the term 'syntax'


Syntax is a fancy word people like to use to refer to the set of rules that decides what a certain combination of keyboard characters means for a language. Python syntax is one of the easiest to work with, so it will be a good language to introduce you to the idea of programming languages and syntax, in preparation for more specific-use languages. Python is written as a series of commands. Each line of the file is interpreted as a separate command. So, to start a new command, simply start a new line with the ‘Enter’ key.


One of the most frustrating parts of programming is getting the syntax wrong. If the combination of letters and other characters is not correct, the computer will either not understand the command, or will execute a completely different request. Luckily, IDEs typically help correct basic syntax errors that prevent the program from running. However, they do not correct mistakes in which we ask the program to accidentally do a completely different action. For this reason, learning syntax is important.