When a syntax error occurs, the compiler or interpreter will issue a notification that it has detected an issue. The notification usually includes details about the type of error and which line of code it occurred on. Common syntax errors include invalid variable names, invalid statements, incorrect data types, incorrect order of operations, and missing brackets.
In many programming languages, syntax errors can be easily fixed by the programmer through revision of the miswritten code. For languages that employ complex syntax rules, programs known as syntax checkers can be used to help flag any potential issues.
Syntax errors differ from logic errors, which occur when code executes without generating any errors but does not produce the expected results. For instance, if a programmer were to mistakenly instruct the computer to divide a number by zero, the syntax checker would not register an error as the syntax would be correct; however, the result of the division would be undefined.
Syntax errors are an important part of the programming process and should be addressed quickly as they prevent code from running correctly. Experienced programmers are adept at spotting and correcting syntax errors within their own code, and more complex programming projects often involve code reviews to identify as many issues as possible.