Syntax is simply defined as the structure of sentences. Each language has specific rules about the order of words,
the type of words used in sentences, and their conjugation. A simple sentence usually includes a subject, verb, and
object with function words (the, a, to…).
“The farmer is harvesting his potatoes.”
A complex sentence usually includes two related ideas (clauses) that are joined by linking words (if, when, because,
if, and). There are many potential relationships between ideas; including relationships in time, cause/effect,
conditions, position, contrast…
“Samuel will need the spare hockey stick because he left his at home.”
Typical children develop syntax according to developmental norms. These norms tell us what words and what structures a child should know at any given age.
Syntax errors and delays are most often seen in children,
and less often in adults. If significant, these difficulties could interfere
with academic success. If they persist in later elementary grades, children can be singled out as being different.
Therapy through systematic rehearsal and application of fundamental learning principles could teach children
proper syntax. Example of an error: “Me go school.”