Guide to Literary Terms

Start Free Trial

What is the definition of syntax?

The definition of syntax is the arrangement of words to make a sentence.


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Syntax is the way authors or speakers arrange their words to form a sentence. Sentence length is an oft-manipulated aspect of syntax. Short sentences heighten a passage’s tension or pacing, while longer sentences prompt readers to slow down and consider what is being written more closely.

Explore all literary terms.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access