Syntax

Updated: 03/13/2021 by Computer Hope
Syntax highlighting

When referring to a programming language, the syntax is a set of rules for grammar and spelling. In other words, it means using character structures that a computer can interpret. For example, if a user tries to execute a command without proper syntax, it generates a syntax error, usually causing the program to fail.

What is syntax highlighting?

In a text editor or IDE (integrated development environment) that supports syntax highlighting, the programming language's syntax elements (keywords, variable names, operators, etc.) are colored, making it easier to read the code.

How do you prevent a syntax error?

Syntax errors happen when a command is typed improperly in a command line or when an error is found in a program or script. To prevent syntax errors, the command or code must be written without any mistakes in the syntax.

How to fix a syntax error

To fix a syntax error, the person or developer who wrote the command or code must debug where the error occurred. Often the compiler or interpreter also gives you the line number of where the error occurred. If a line number is given, start at that line or look around that line for any mistakes.

For example, in HTML, you may get a syntax error or other error because an HTML tag is not typed correctly or something is not properly escaped. With programming, there are many reasons why a syntax error could occur. Make sure lines requiring a semicolon (;) at the end of the line have one, there's no extra spacing or characters, and that special characters are escaped.

Argument, Command, Programming terms