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Syntax Examples

Syntax is the arrangement of words in a sentence and the study of the rules that govern the formation of a proper sentence. Syntax and diction are closely related. Diction refers to the choice of words in a particular situation while syntax determines how the chosen words are used to form a sentence. Most often than not, adopting a complex diction means a complex syntactic structure of sentences and vice versa. In combination, syntax and diction help writers to develop tone, mood and atmosphere in a text along with evoking interest of the readers. Syntax can be declarative, "The cat is running up the tree."; imperative, "You must have your room clean by tomorrow!"; and exclamatory, "Give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

Usually in the English language the syntax should follow a pattern of subject-verb-object agreement but sometimes authors play around with this to achieve a lyrical, rhythmic, rhetoric or questioning effect. In poetry, however, the word order may be shifted to achieve certain artistic effects such as bringing in a rhythm or melody in the lines, achieving emphasis, and heightening connection between two words. For example, the sentence "The man drives the car" would follow normal syntax in the English language. By changing the syntax to "The car drives the man", the sentence takes on a more poetic tone and mood. Syntax affects nature of a prose text as well. It enhances its meanings and contributes toward its tone. Generally, quickness, decisiveness and speed are added to a text by using short phrase, clauses and sentences.