Grammar vs Syntax: Find Definition, Examples & Differences

Grammar vs Syntax: Find Definition, Examples & Differences

Writing and spelling great is the key to personal and career success. It plays an important role in building your reputation and credibility in front of others.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced in verbal or written communication, this question might have puzzled you – “is there a difference between grammar & syntax”.

In this article, I will explain to you whether grammar and syntax are the same or are different. In the last, I will reveal you a free and amazing tool which will help you communicate more effectively.

First, let us understand their basic definition.

As per Wikipedia,

Grammar is a plethora of rules and regulations which tell us how to use the composition of words, clauses and phrases to form a sentence in any language. It can also be considered as research or study to form such rules. This includes morphology, phonology, syntax, phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics.

From the definition of grammar, it is very clear that syntax is one part of grammar. Other parts are morphology, phonology, semantics, pragmatics etc.

So, What is syntax?

Syntax is a field of Linguistics which involve study and analysis of the construction of sentences. It is the set of all rules, principles and theory which help in the structure of sentences in any language.

Still confused?

Let us understand the difference between grammar and syntax in detail

Syntax is a subset of grammar. It tells you how to arrange the different words to form a meaningful sentence.

For example, consider the following sentence.

  • John hard works.
  • John works hard.

Both sentences have the same words but the first one carries no meaning. The only difference between the two is the order i.e syntax.

The order of word depends upon the types of sentence.

  • Statement/Declarative Sentence: “John works hard.”
  • Question/Interrogative Sentence: “Does John work hard?”
  • Exclamation/Exclamatory Sentence: “How hardworking John is!”
  • Command / Imperative Sentence: “John, try to do hard work.”

Using the above example, it is easy to understand the role of syntax. Word order or structure of a sentence is an important component of syntax.

Whereas, grammar deals with everything like part of speech along with syntax. It is a set of rules that describe how the structure of language is actually used.

Difference Between Grammar and Syntax

For different languages, the grammar and syntax rules are different. For example, English follows the SVO (subject, verb and object) pattern. Whereas, Hindi, generally, follows Subject – Object – Verb (SOV) order.

Learn some more difference between syntax and grammar using the table below:

Grammar Syntax
Grammar is a plethora of rules and regulations which tell us how to use the composition of words, clauses and phrases to form a sentence in any language. Syntax is a subset of grammar. It tells you how to arrange the different words to form a meaningful sentence.
Grammar includes phonology, morphology, and syntax, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. Syntax falls under grammar.
Grammar is more like (pedantically) defining the objective aspect of sentence-structure Syntax defines the philosophical aspect of grammar.
Grammar rules every aspect of sentences Syntax doesn’t
Grammar is a normative/prescriptive approach to language Syntax is a linguistic discipline, hence it tries very hard not to be normative or prescriptive.

Bonus Tips

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Thanks for reading. If you know more such tools to improve your writing skills, mention them in comments. Also, suggest whether you were able to learn the difference between grammar and syntax or not.

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