What is the difference between syntax and grammar? I know syntax is part of grammar, but the words often get used interchangeably, and I'm not grasping what the real difference is.

1 Answer
May 8, 2016

Syntax + morphology = grammar


Morphology is the study of the form of individual words, and syntax is the study of word order and choice in the formation of meaningful sentences. Together, these are the major elements of grammar, the study of the structure of language.

Imagine a word puzzle book for children. One puzzle might scramble the letters in a word, and you have to put them in the right order. This is morphology. Another puzzle will have you put scattered words together to form a sentence, and you will have some choices to make to give the precise meaning you want to convey. This is syntax. Grammar is concerned with both. It is represented by the entire puzzle book.