Many think that syntax and grammar are one and the same thing, but the fact is syntax is just a part of grammar. As against, grammar is the entire system of rules that allows people to form and interpret words, clauses, phrases and sentences, in their language.
Syntax can be understood as the set of principles that defines the order of words, clauses and phrases to form a proper sentence in a particular language.
On the contrary, Grammar implies an abstract system containing the set of rules governing the basics of a language, such as a form, structure and order of words. Let’s take a look at the article given below to understand the difference between syntax and grammar in detail.
Content: Syntax Vs Grammar
|Basis for Comparison||Syntax||Grammar|
|Meaning||Syntax refers to a system that indicates how the words can be put together, so as to make a sentence.||Grammar is nothing but a branch of linguistics that is concerned with syntax and morphology.|
|What is it?||It is a part of grammar.||It is a discipline of linguistic.|
|Tells you||How a sentence is worded and structured.||How logical and meaningful sentences are created and how language works.|
|Indicates||Rules governing the arrangement of words.||Law of language|
Definition of Syntax
The syntax is that part of grammar which deals with the order of words and phrases to form a proper sentence in a particular language. It is a system of rules that tell you which word comes prior to and subsequent to another word in a sentence, such that it makes a complete sense.
In simple words, the format with the help of which words and phrases are structured, to frame a sentence is termed as syntax. Meaning that it decides the way in which subject, verb and object is to be arranged, to form a correct sentence. It is something that can make a huge difference in the context of the sentence, as you can see in the example below:
- The puppy ran joyfully.
- The puppy joyfully ran.
- Joyfully, the puppy ran.
In the given example, you might have observed that we have just changed the order of word ‘joyfully’ and the entire context of the sentence is changed, and this is the power of ‘syntax’.
In creative writing, the syntax has a very important role to play, as it can make the write up more interesting and engaging, as well as it also helps to emphasize a particular point.
Definition of Grammar
Grammar is a methodical study and elucidation of a particular language. It implies a system, that comprises of a set of structural rules defining how to frame sentences, in a particular language. The rules may be related to syntax, morphology, phonology and semantics. These rules are helpful for arranging the words in a systematic manner to make proper sentences.
Syntax deals with the word order, i.e. the customary arrangement of the word, whereas morphology is all about forms and structure of words, phonology is concerned with language sounds, and semantics deals with the meanings. These rules guide the composition of words, phrases and clauses.
In a wider sense, grammar studies word classes, their conjugation, functions and relations. Therefore, it also covers accidence (the inflexion of words), orthography (spelling system), and syntax (the arrangement of word and phrases to frame sentences). In general, there are two types of grammar, discussed as under:
- Prescriptive Grammar: It contains a set of rules that determine the correct or preferred use of a language, such as pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, syntax and semantics.
- Descriptive Grammar: It aims at logically examining and explaining the way in which language is actually used or the way in which it is used previously by a group of people with similar linguistic norms.
Key Differences Between Syntax and Grammar
The difference between syntax and grammar can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Syntax implies the set of rules that define the way in which words and phrases are organized, to make coherent sentences. On the other hand, Grammar refers to the study of word classes, their conjugation, functions and relation in a particular sentence.
- Grammar is a branch of linguistics which is concerned with the syntax, morphology, semantics, and phonology. As against, the syntax is a part of grammar, indicating the way in which the words are sequenced to create sentences.
- While syntax tells you how to arrange the words in a sentence, based on the declarative, interrogative, negative, affirmative or exclamatory sentence. Conversely, grammar is all about creating a logical and meaningful sentence. It will tell you how language works and how words are used.
- The syntax is the study of the principles and processes whereby words and other components of sentence structure are put together to create grammatically correct sentences. In contrast, grammar helps you to understand the laws of language and the appropriate way of using the language both in speech as well as in writing.
While speaking or writing something, syntax, i.e. order of words, has the power to change the meaning of the sentence.
In the same way, grammar plays a very crucial role in the process of communication, because without it the language will not be understood properly. Hence, the receiver will not be able to interpret the message correctly as both the speaker and listener need to know each other’s language to exchange words.