Difference Between Syntax and Diction

Syntax vs Diction

Syntax and diction are two integral elements of style of writing that are used by an author to spellbind his readers. These are also elements of voice as when a speaker exercises his style to mesmerize the audiences. The two are very similar but have significant differences that will be highlighted in this article.


Syntax is that part of grammar that pertains to the order of words in sentences. It also refers to punctuation, length of sentences and also the sentence focus. If the author or the speaker uses long sentences, you can say that he makes use of syntax to show his prowess or mastery over the language. A speaker can use simple sentences, or he can make use of compound, complex, or compound complex sentences. Syntax also involves function of a sentence. This means that a sentence can be declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, or imperative.


Diction refers to the level of command a writer or speaker has over the vocabulary he uses. In other terms, diction is the variety of words used by him. He can make use of simple, everyday words, or he can choose to use complicated and technical words. To make this clear, we can see the difference between cat and feline. While both mean the same, cat is simpler and more commonly used than feline. A writer can make use of concrete diction, or he can write using abstract diction. Then there is the level of diction described as high or formal diction, intermediate diction, and finally low or informal diction that contains words used in daily lives.

What is the difference between Syntax and Diction?

• Diction and syntax are two different elements of speech and writing.

• While diction pertains to command of words, syntax refers to word structure in a sentence.

• Diction can be high, middle, or low whereas syntax implies the length and focus of the sentence.

• Syntax also clarifies the simplicity or complexity of a sentence.

• Diction and syntax are used cleverly by writers and speakers to spellbind the readers and audiences.

• Diction is the writer’s choice of words, whereas syntax is the structure of his sentences.

• A speaker gauges his audience and decides upon his syntax and diction accordingly.