How to Fix Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token

Fix Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token

Syntax errors are the bane of every programmer’s existence. In the realm of programming languages, even a tiny misplaced character can wreak havoc and bring your code to a screeching halt. One of the most common and frustrating syntax errors you might encounter is the dreaded “Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token.” But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries behind this error and arm you with the knowledge to not only understand it but also conquer it. So, whether you’re a seasoned coder or just dipping your toes into the coding waters, let’s delve into the world of unexpected tokens and their resolutions.

What is a Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token?

At its core, a syntax error is a hiccup in your code’s grammar. Think of it like trying to speak a language with improper grammar – confusion reigns supreme. Now, the phrase “unexpected token” may sound cryptic, but it’s simply a piece of code that your programming language didn’t anticipate. It’s like throwing a curveball at your code when it was expecting a fastball. This error can pop up when your code doesn’t follow the syntax rules set by your chosen programming language, leading to befuddling messages and exasperating debugging sessions.

Causes of “Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token”

  • Mismatched Brackets or Parentheses

The culprit here is often a missing closing bracket or parenthesis. Imagine building a tower of blocks without balancing them – chaos ensues. A similar concept applies to code. For instance:

def calculate_sum(numbers:

The missing closing parenthesis after “numbers” leaves the code in a state of confusion.


Simply add the missing closing parenthesis:

def calculate_sum(numbers):
  • Incorrect Use of Operators

Operators are the lifeblood of code, but using them incorrectly can throw a spanner in the works. For instance:

if x = 10;

Here, the single equal sign is used for assignment instead of the double equal sign for comparison.


Use the correct comparison operator:

if x === 10;
  • Missing or Extra Semicolons

Semicolons act as punctuation marks in code, and their absence or overabundance can lead to unexpected token errors. For example:

System.out.println("Hello world")

The missing semicolon at the end of the line creates confusion.


Add the missing semicolon:

System.out.println("Hello world");
  • Unclosed Strings or Quotes

Strings in code must be enclosed within quotes, and forgetting to close them can trigger an error:

message = "Hello, world!

The missing closing quote confounds the interpreter.


Close the string with a quote:

message = "Hello, world!"
  • Improper Indentation

Many programming languages rely on indentation for readability and logic flow. Incorrect indentation can baffle the interpreter:

if x > 5:
print("x is greater than 5")

The missing indentation for the print statement confuses the code.


Indent the print statement correctly:

if x > 5:
print("x is greater than 5")

Real-world Examples

Let’s explore these issues through practical examples:

  • Mismatched Brackets:
public class Calculator {
public static int add(int a, int b {
return a + b;

The missing closing bracket after “b” confounds the compiler.


public class Calculator {
public static int add(int a, int b) {
return a + b;
  • Incorrect Use of Operators:
if x = 5;

The single equal sign for assignment triggers the error.


if x == 5;
  • Missing Semicolon:
console.log("Welcome to the world of coding")

The missing semicolon at the end confuses the interpreter.


console.log("Welcome to the world of coding");
  • Unclosed String:
message = "Coding is fun!

The unclosed string leaves the code in disarray.


message = "Coding is fun!"
  • Improper Indentation:
for i in range(5):

The missing indentation for the print statement perplexes the code.


for i in range(5):

Identifying and Debugging the Error

So, you’ve encountered a “Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token.” How do you go about finding the needle in the haystack of your code? Follow these steps:

  1. Check Error Messages: Error messages are your code’s cries for help. They often point to the line and even the position where the error lies.
  2. Inspect Surrounding Code: Look at the lines before and after the error-indicating line. This can give you context and reveal the unexpected token’s source.
  3. Review Recent Changes: If the code was working fine before, review the changes you made. The error might have crept in during these modifications.
  4. Use Online Tools: Leverage online syntax validators and linters. These tools can swiftly pinpoint the unexpected token.

Preventing “Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token”

Prevention is the best medicine. Here’s how to avoid these errors in the first place:

  1. Code Review: Two heads are better than one. Enlist a fellow programmer to review your code. Fresh eyes can catch mistakes you might have missed.
  2. Consistent Formatting: Establish a consistent coding style and stick to it. Proper indentation and formatting make errors stand out.
  3. Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): IDEs are your coding companions. They highlight errors in real time, sparing you from the agony of unexpected tokens.
  4. Automated Testing: Embrace the power of automated testing. Writing tests for your code can catch syntax errors early on.


Navigating the treacherous waters of “Syntax Error Near Unexpected Token” doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Armed with a solid understanding of the causes, solutions, and prevention strategies, you’re well-equipped to tackle these errors head-on. Remember, every programmer – from novices to experts – encounters syntax errors. The key lies in learning from them, honing your debugging skills, and emerging as a stronger coder. So, fear not the unexpected token, for now, you possess the knowledge to conquer it and code on with confidence. Happy coding!


r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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