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Diction vs. Syntax

The main difference between Diction and Syntax is that Diction is the optimal selection of words for the context, whereas Syntax is the perfect arrangement and alignment of words according to grammatical rules.

Key Differences

Diction includes vocabulary usage to enhance the writing skills and make the statement easy to understand, while syntax is a construction of sentences putting stress, or slower, or faster speed.
Janet White
Apr 09, 2020
Diction is a complete set of word selection, while syntax is a complete set of language.
Diction has three levels, high, middle, and low to distribute the words in three categories; on the flip side, the only level for syntax is implying the magnanimity and intensity of the sentence.
Diction is careful usage and application of words to convey the right information and avoid misrepresentation, whereas syntax is poising parallel ideas in the sentences and making them comprehensible.
Diction has the involvement of a variety of words to affect the reader, whereas syntax has syntactical rules to follow grammatical errors and balancing the sentence’s framework.
The author’s choice of words to convey his thoughts in an expressive and intensive way is called diction. On the other hand, the balancing structure of the sentences is called syntax.

Comparison Chart


The selection of words for the context is called diction.
The alignment and arrangement of words in a sense-making way is called syntax.

Access to Words

For selection purpose
For arrangement purpose


To effect the reader’s views
To make an effective way of conveying a complete thought

Set of Rules

In literature
In a language
Aimie Carlson
Apr 09, 2020

Grammatical Accuracy

Not observed
Observed deeply
Aimie Carlson
Apr 09, 2020


Billie just makes me mad( Billie annoys me)
I like eating, playing and sleeping
Janet White
Apr 09, 2020

Diction and Syntax Definitions


Choice and use of words in speech or writing.


The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.


Degree of clarity and distinctness of pronunciation in speech or singing; enunciation.


A publication, such as a book, that presents such rules.


Choice and use of words, especially with regard to effective communication.


The pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language.


The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice and expression.
His poor diction meant that most of the audience didn't really understand the key points of the presentation.


Such a pattern in a particular sentence or discourse.


(theatre) Enunciation, pronunciation.


(Computers) The rules governing the formation of statements in a programming language.


Choice of words for the expression of ideas; the construction, disposition, and application of words in discourse, with regard to clearness, accuracy, variety, etc.; mode of expression; language; as, the diction of Chaucer's poems.
His diction blazes up into a sudden explosion of prophetic grandeur.


A systematic, orderly arrangement.


The articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience


A set of rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences.


The manner in which something is expressed in words;
Use concise military verbiage


The formal rules of formulating the statements of a computer language.


(linguistics) The study of the structure of phrases, sentences, and language.


Connected system or order; union of things; a number of things jointed together; organism.
They owe no other dependence to the first than what is common to the whole syntax of beings.


That part of grammar which treats of the construction of sentences; the due arrangement of words in sentences in their necessary relations, according to established usage in any language.


The grammatical arrangement of words in sentences


A systematic orderly arrangement


Studies of the rules for forming admissible sentences

Diction vs. Syntax

To choose words carefully and appropriately is called diction, while arrangement or positioning of words is called syntax. Lists of formality level, language, etc. are related to diction. On the other hand, subject-verb agreement, word order, etc. are relevant to syntax.

The purpose of diction is to communicate and share a specific message or create a particular writing style, while the goal of syntax is to make grammatically correct sentences by paying attention to order, arrangement, words, clauses, and phrases. Diction is just the approval of words that will refer to the idea, but the syntax is the real message delivered to describe the relationships between terms and syntactic rules.

When diction pertains to the understanding of words, syntax mentions the structure and framework of the sentence. Diction can be categorized as high, middle, and low. On the other hand, the length of the sentence and focus of its structure is implicated by syntax.

Diction does not clarify either simplicity or complexity of the sentence’s structure, whereas syntax implies defining the plainness or complication of the structure of the sentence. Diction is a piece of writing, while syntax is like a social contract to describe every grammatical sentence or proper application of it.

What is Diction?

Diction is generally defined as the choice of words. The main idea to which it refers is clarity of speech. The word selection should be such that a common man can understand it efficiently without any difficulty.

Diction refers to the appropriate consideration of words as well as clarity of pronunciation, which means that the terms should be offered clearly so that the next person can understand it efficiently and effectively.

As the speakers use a formal or informal way of talking, the authors also make conscious and unconscious word choices. Diction is a masterpiece of literature, having many aspects of the author’s views in different operative ways.

Diction mostly differentiates good writing from a bad piece of writing. Diction rest on various factors, which include righteousness and correctness of words, appropriateness of words according to the context in which they are used, and suitable choice of words so that the reader or listener can understand it easily.

To communicate and share your thoughts, you must use proper diction, which is the appropriate usage of words. Wrong representation and usage of words can cause mutations in what you mean and what you say, resulting in total misrepresentation.


Usage of proper, sophisticated, and mannered language without slang is called formal diction. Formal diction is mostly observed in business documentation, professional manuscripts, and legal credentials. “I am very grateful to you, Sir,” shows the example of formal diction.

Conversational and colloquialisms way of communication without slang is called informal diction. This casual diction represents people’s communication in real life. “Hey, buddy! Wat’s going on,” shows informal language and usage of slang. Hence, this is an example of informal diction.

Other examples are Pedantic diction, Colloquial diction, Slang diction, Abstract diction, Concrete diction, and Poetic diction, etc.

What is Syntax?

The complete set of rules in languages is called syntax. It describes the pattern of using the syntactical regulations and parts of speech to put together all the words for conveying the whole idea or concept.

In simple words, the syntax is an arrangement of words in an effective way. The primary purpose of using syntax in a context is to make correct grammatical sentences, to express the creativity of the author, and to maintain a balance of words.

The syntax makes sure that words are balanced in a sentence, and a parallel structure is followed. i.e., “she likes to watch TV, washes clothes, and run errands.” In this example, a parallel arrangement of an infinitive is used with all the verbs, which is balancing the whole sentence.

Syntax refers to punctuation or pronunciation, the extent of a sentence, and mainly sentence concentration. A speaker can use any kind of sentence, which can be simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences.

If the author writes long sentences, it is referred to as if he wants to create his massive impression and show his master dexterity in language by using syntax.


  • Agreement: He is an ideal person. Vs. He am an ideal person.
  • Case: He made me feel embarrassed. Vs. He made I feel embarrassed.
  • Reflexive Pronouns: I wrote this letter myself. Vs. I wrote this letter my.
  • Word Order: We played basketball for refreshments. Vs. Basketball, we played refreshment for.

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