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Difference Between Syntax and Semantics
Syntax defines the rules and regulations that help write any statement in a programming language, while semantics refers to the meaning of the associated line of code in the programming language. Read this article to learn more about syntax and semantics and how they are different from each other.
What is Syntax?
In a programming language, Syntax defines the rules that govern the structure and arrangement of keywords, symbols, and other elements. Syntax doesn't have any relationship with the meaning of the statement; it is only associated with the grammar and structure of the programming language.
A line of code is syntactically valid and correct if it follows all the rules of syntax. Syntax does not have to do anything with the meaning of the statement. Syntax errors are encountered after the program has been executed.
Some examples of syntax errors include missing semicolons in C++, undeclared variables in Java, although such errors are easy to catch.
What is Semantics?
Semantics refers to the meaning of the associated line of code and how they are executed in a programming language. Hence, semantics helps interpret what function the line of code/program is performing.
Semantic errors are encountered and handled during runtime of the program execution. If there is any semantic error and even when the statement has correct syntax, it wouldn't perform the function that was intended for it to do. Thus, such errors are difficult to catch.
Now, let us discuss the differences between syntax and semantics in detail.
Difference between Syntax and Semantics
The following table highlights all the significant differences between syntax and semantics −
Syntax is one that defines the rules and regulations that helps to write any statement in a programming language.
Semantics is one that refers to the meaning of the associated line of code in a programming language.
Syntax does not have any relationship with the meaning of the statement.
Semantics tells about the meaning.
Syntax errors are encountered after the program has been executed
They are encountered at runtime.
Syntax errors are easy to catch.
Semantics errors are difficult to catch.
To conclude, syntax deals with the grammar and structure of a code, while semantics tells the system about the meaning of the code and how it is supposed to be executed in a programming language.
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