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Table of Contents

Introduction

Writing is about communicating ideas, and syntax helps readers understand the writer’s intended message. Sentence structure can be confusing for young writers, but it’s an important skill that improves over time. Once you know how to write sentences in standard English syntax, your writing will become clearer and more effective.

What is Syntax?

Syntax is the way a writer arranges words in sentences and phrases in order to create meaning. It helps readers understand what the writer is trying to communicate.

The word syntax comes from Greek, and it means “arrangement.” In writing and speaking, syntax is the way a writer arranges words in sentences and phrases in order to create meaning. 

Syntax helps readers understand the meaning of a sentence. For example, if you say “I have a cat” or “I have an apple,” your audience can understand what you’re saying because they know what cats and apples are. However, if you say something more complex like this: 

“Let’s eat Grandad” – are you suggesting that we actually your grandad or that you and grandad should eat together:

“Let’s eat, grandad”.

See how the arrangement and inclusion of a comma completely changes the meaning of your sentence?

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In English, syntax tells us about who does something and to whom or for whom the action is done

The second type of syntax is the order in which words are arranged. In English, syntax tells us about who does something and to whom or for whom the action is done. This can be an active verb (John threw the ball) or a passive verb (The ball was thrown by John). The subject of a sentence determines whether it is active or not in this example.

This use of syntax will change depending on whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction and how formal your tone is. For instance, if you’re writing about someone’s life story, you might say: “I grew up on a farm.” This would be written in past tense because it’s describing events that happened in their past, but it could also easily be rewritten as present tense if we wanted to convey more immediacy: “I am growing up on a farm.”

How are Sentences Made Up?

Sentences are made up of nouns and verbs, but many other components allow us to add meaning. These include adjectives, adverbs, phrases, clauses, and conjunctions.

Sentences are made up of nouns and verbs, but many other components allow us to add meaning. These include adjectives, adverbs, phrases, clauses, and conjunctions.

  • Nouns are used to name people, places or things in a sentence. For example: “The football player ran down the field.”

  • Verbs indicate action or state of being in a sentence by describing an action performed by someone or something. For the previous example, the footballer is “running”.

  • Adjectives describe nouns: they tell us more about them (e.g., big brown dog). Adverbs describe verbs: they tell us how something was done (e.g., slowly walk down the street).

  • Phrases are groups of words that modify other words (e.g., very quickly run). 

  • Clauses are groups of words that can stand alone as complete sentences: “I went home yesterday” is a clause because it can be rewritten into its own sentence without needing anything else added onto it as long as you do not leave out any information necessary for understanding what happened during this event.

Sentence Structures

  • There are four basic sentence structures in English: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex. Each sentence type requires a different arrangement of clauses.

  • *Simple sentences* are the most common sentences you will encounter in writing. They have one subject and one predicate (a verb phrase or an entire clause). 

  • The following is an example of a simple sentence: “The cat sat on the mat.” This could also be written as two independent clauses: “The cat sat.” “On the mat.” The word “and” indicates that these two clauses are being connected to form one single sentence with no subordination present anywhere within it.

First Draft

While writing a first draft many writers let their ideas flow without pausing to consider sentence structure or readability. However, the second draft should involve proofreading the syntactic features of your work carefully and editing where necessary to match the standard form of English writing.

Good Syntax Makes your Writing Easy to Understand and Follow

Good syntax makes your writing easy to understand and follow. Syntax is the way you put words together to make sentences.

It is important to follow the rules of English syntax in your writing because it helps readers understand what you are trying to say. 

Syntax is also important when writers communicate ideas or concepts clearly through their work so that their message can be understood by others.

Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading is an important process that can help you identify errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It also allows you to improve syntax by correcting problems such as run-on sentences (sentences containing two independent clauses) and frequently used words that are overused in your writing.

We make it easy, simply get in touch and we will happily begin the proofreading and editing process. We guarantee to deliver the best version of your document, no matter the length, style or subject matter. Syntax is an important aspect of writing, and it’s important to make sure your writing has good syntax. 

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