Syntax describes the structure of a language and how it is used to communicate.

The importance of Syntax when we communicate is absolute (whether we are talking to ourselves OR someone else).

In this brief article I want to share:
• ‘How’ syntax can change the meaning of a sentence
• ‘Why’ this is important
• And how to best create a positive message

In these two sentences for example notice how a change in syntax completely alters the meaning:
“The dog bit John.”
“John bit the dog.”

The information is the same, (in this instance even the words are) but the meaning is totally different - especially if you are John!

It’s a bit more subtle when we examine these sentences:
“I’ve done things like this in the past but, I haven’t for a while.”
“I haven’t done things like this for a while but, I have in the past.”


“The viewers like the new presenter but really miss the old one.”
“The viewers really miss the old presenter, but like the new one.”

As you read those sentences notice how you intuitively interpret their meaning. It’s important which part of the sentence you put before and after the word ‘But’.

In A, the first version gives the impression of a lack of confidence due to the time that has elapsed since last doing ‘that thing’.

Whereas, the second version seems to imply that doing ‘that thing’ is like riding a bike - you’ve done it before, you can do it again.

Likewise with B, the first version sounds like the viewers preferred the old presenter, whereas, the second version seems to say that although they liked the old presenter they are warming to the new one.

If you were the new presenter which feedback would you prefer to read?
The information is the same but the inference has altered.

So, whether you want to create a change in how you feel about something, a change in your circumstances or even a change in your career, be aware of the syntax you are using when you communicate. This can have a powerful effect on your own state of mind AND imagine how you might improve your influence of a spouse, child, friend, colleague, boss or potential employer.

Always ensure you present the BEST interpretation of the information.

This will lead your subconscious mind to accept new possibilities, opportunities etc. and it will help others draw the right conclusions about you.

A good practise is to write down what you wish to say, notice how the sentence makes you feel, then take a look at the syntax. You will start to notice patterns in your sentence structure that make you feel positive OR negative.

Before long you will be able to self monitor in real time, thereby altering how you communicate and changing the feelings you help generate, in others and yourself.

Take care

PS: Remember to apply this if you are ever writing to someone as well. For job interviews, official correspondence, legal letters where meaning is paramount. It should even be applied to sales letters and all marketing communications too.

Author's Bio: 

Stuart Young is the author of “How To Change Your Life One Day At A Time” which has 36 Gold Star reviews on Amazon and counting. A lifelong interest in all things psychology led him 10 years ago to have an epiphany which rapidly and radically changed his life - for the better. His latest eBook “Do You Hate Your Job?” takes the reader through the process that he himself used to quit his job and lead a lifestyle that most employed workers would envy.

eBook available for FREE here...