Syntax error python

Let’s understand syntax error python thoroughly with the help of an example, if you write a sentence in English with lots of grammatical mistakes then the reader will not understand what you want to convey. Similarly, in programming, python is a language just like the English language, and syntax can be referred to as the grammar of python. If the grammar is not correct then it can lead to error because a computer is not able to interpret what the user wants to convey. This error which occurs due to incorrect syntax is known as a syntax error.

You might be aware of the fact that python is the programming language, and also consider as the most popular and fast-growing language among all languages. You might have also heard its syntax is very easily that’s why the developers are choosing python over other languages. But what is this syntax? The syntax is the set of rules which are pre-defined by the developer, that needs to be followed so that the program can be interpreted by the computer. By the following syntax, you can get the desired output.

In python, if you want to print hello then you just have to write print (“hello”) but, in the case of other languages like C, C++ you have to write header files then have to follow proper int main format then all syntax, to just perform a single line of code. So, you can see how simple syntax is in python so, if the syntax error arises in python, it can be solved very qiuckly. Because there is nothing much to take care of syntax it is very simple already.  

 In this article you can see, what is syntax error? how it can be solved? How to avoid syntax errors? So, let dive into the solution to all these questions.

What is a syntax error in Python?

There are three types of python errors. First is a syntax error, second is a runtime error and third is a logical error. From which syntax error is the most basic error among all the errors and can easily be solved if you know the correct syntax. The syntax error is an error that arises when the code which you have written does not recognize in python means the syntax is incorrect. So, the interpreter can’t interpret the code and gives an error which is named as syntax error. Syntax error can be of any type like a spelling mistake, comma mistake, parenthesis is not used, any extra word added all this can lead to a syntax error. When syntax error arises not a single line of code gets executed in the program, unlike in other errors runtime errors and logical errors code will be displayed until an error occurs then after an error occurs it will stop displaying.  

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Let’s take an example for better understanding:

Syntax error python

In the above figure, you can see that program is giving syntax errors. why is this happening? Because we have not enclosed hello in parenthesis which is a required syntax in python to print anything. You can’t write a print statement without a parenthesis interpreter in python will give a syntax error because of syntax rules that says that statement is Invalid. So, if you add parenthesis in the code, you won’t get any error in this program shown in the figure below. 

fix the Syntax error python

How syntax errors can occur in Python?

Till now you have seen what is the syntax? and what is a syntax error? now, let’s discuss what are the different ways that this error can occur:

  • If you forgot the assignment operator (=). This means you have created a variable a and you forgot assignment operator (=) and directly wrote the value as a 5. In such situation, you did not define the variable to 5which can lead to a syntax error. You have to write assignment operator in-between like a=5 to get rid of the error.
  • You cannot use a keyword as the variable. Keywords (which have special meaning in python) like for, is, or, while, else, elif, if, not, switch these all can’t be used as the variable name in python. If you use them, this can lead to a syntax error. 
  • You can also get an error when you by mistake type the wrong built-in function name which is already defined in python. For example, the dir function is used to get the names of the modules in python and by mistake you type der then python don’t know, what der is? So, it will give a syntax error.
  • Minor mistakes such as not closing the brackets, forgetting commas these errors are very easy to visualize and solve. But if you are working on big projects then, syntax error because of these minor mistakes is problematic.   

How to handle Syntax error python?

Knowing about the error and how to deal with it is very important. Let’s see how to handle syntax errors in python:

  • When you get an error, first see in the terminal there you can see your file name is displayed on which you are currently working on, then after that line, number is displayed in which is the number of errors, then what you have done wrong then the name of the error which is a syntax error in our case because we are learning about a syntax error in this article. Then, after the name of the error colon and the more description of the error or we can say a more explained version of the error that came. For your help python also show an arrow in the terminal to the line where you are getting an error. Through all this information you can know how you can remove your error. So, now to get a clear picture see the example below:
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In this example, we have taken a variable number and we want to define the number as 5 but we did not use an assignment operator for defining the variable. So, a syntax error occurs because no variable is defined and the interpreter did not know that what is variable? and what is the value assigned to it?

Syntax error python

In this number variable, you can see that arrow is shown where we did something wrong. This is also telling us which error we are getting that is syntax error then what we got wrong? that is invalid syntax. Through all this information now, we know that we missed the assignment operator. After correcting it you can see in the figure below that the result gets printed as we wanted. You can see in the feature below:

fix the error
  • This is the easiest way to solve syntax errors in python. Whenever you type something wrong in python red line is marked to the place where you did something wrong. You can solve it at the time of writing the code so that you do not get any errors at the end. And if you do not get any red marks then you can see the file name has some numbers showing in front of it. These numbers are the errors in the program. In the figure below you can see how these signs look like when you have an error in your program. 


Getting errors is very common. Anyone can get an error whether if you are a developer (expert in programming) or a beginner. The thing is that developers already know how to tackle all sorts of errors but beginners don’t know. If you are a beginner then you should try to know what each error in python means. In this article, you have seen all possibilities from where you can get a syntax error. And till now you have learned how to tackle all sorts of syntax error-related problems.

Syntax errors are the simplest errors to solve unlike in exceptions you have to use try and except block to solve exceptions, in logical error you don’t even know where did you do something wrong? So, it’s really hard to solve such errors. In syntax error python itself gives you a red mark at the time of writing that your syntax is not correct. 

There is no need to get worried if you are getting an error. Errors are meant to be solved they are not permanent. The thing is that you should know about the error you are getting in your program and how to solve them? Among all the errors syntax errors are very easy to understand because the syntax which is applied in the python language is very easy to understand. To void syntax error in your program always try to learn the correct syntax and learn about the error how it can occur. So, that you can avoid those situations in which syntax error is raised in python.

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FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Question 1 – what is syntax in python?

Answer 1 – syntax is the pre-defined rules decided by the python developer or it is the grammar of python which needs to be followed to avoid syntax error in python.

Question 2 – how to find out if a program has syntax errors or not?

Answer 2 – it is really simple to check while there is an error in the program or not. First, run the code then, the error will be displayed in the terminal according to that decide your next step to remove that error by your understanding in the language (python).

Question 3 – is python syntax easy compare to other languages?

Answer 3 – yes, python is considered as the simplest and most understandable syntax having language among all the programming languages.

Question 4 – from where to learn the syntax of python?

Answer 4 – there is the various platform to learn python syntax. If you are comfortable with documentation then you can learn it from there or if you want to learn from videos then go through Udemy, Coursera, NPTEL, and YouTube is also a good source of learning python syntax.

Question 5 – is there is any other way to check syntax errors?

Answer 5 – yes, there is a tool called a python code checker which can be useful if you are getting syntax errors and you are not able to figure. You just have to copy your code and paste it into the python code checker and click on the check syntax button to check your code. If you are having a long code and you have no time to figure out where is your syntax error then this checker is beneficial.