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PHP: Syntax errors

If a PHP program is written syntactically incorrectly, the interpreter will display a corresponding message on the screen, along with a pointer to the file and line where it thinks the error occurred. Syntax errors occur when the code has grammatical mistakes. Grammar is essential to human language, but a text with grammar mistakes can still be read and understood. However, when it comes to programming, things are much more strict. Any tiny violation and the program won't even start. Maybe you've mixed up your brackets, or there's a ;, that you forgot to add — these are just some examples of such mistakes.

Here is an example of some code with a syntax error:



If you run the code above, you'll see the following message: $ PHP Parse error: syntax error, unexpected end of file in /private/var/tmp/index.php on line 4. These syntax errors in PHP are classified as "Parse errors". As you can see, the path to the file and the line number are given at the end.

On the one hand, "Parse error" errors are the simplest, because they're ony related to the grammatical rules of code writing, and not to the meaning of the code itself. You can easily fix it once you find it.

On the other hand, the interpreter won't always tell you the correct position of an error. Sometimes you need to add a forgotten bracket to a different place than where the error message says.


This task isn't directly related to the lesson, but it would be useful to practice with printing anyway.

Print What Is Dead May Never Die.

The exercise doesn't pass checking. What to do? 😶

If you've reached a deadlock it's time to ask your question in the «Discussions». How ask a question correctly:

  • Be sure to attach the test output, without it it's almost impossible to figure out what went wrong, even if you show your code. It's complicated for developers to execute code in their heads, but having a mistake before their eyes most probably will be helpful.
In my environment the code works, but not here 🤨

Tests are designed so that they test the solution in different ways and against different data. Often the solution works with one kind of input data but doesn't work with others. Check the «Tests» tab to figure this out, you can find hints at the error output.

My code is different from the teacher's one 🤔

It's fine. 🙆 One task in programming can be solved in many different ways. If your code passed all tests, it complies with the task conditions.

In some rare cases, the solution may be adjusted to the tests, but this can be seen immediately.

I've read the lessons but nothing is clear 🙄

It's hard to make educational materials that will suit everyone. We do our best but there is always something to improve. If you see a material that is not clear to you, describe the problem in “Discussions”. It will be great if you'll write unclear points in the question form. Usually, we need a few days for corrections.

By the way, you can participate in courses improvement. There is a link below to the lessons course code which you can edit right in your browser.


  • Syntax errors are a violation of the grammatical rules of a programming language.

  • Parse error is a type of PHP error that occurs when there are syntax errors in the code.

If you got stuck and don't know what to do, you can ask a question in our community