Parsing Errors in Python and What to Do About Them

Do you want to know more about parsing errors in Python and what to do when you get a parsing error? the article below has been written for that.

Parsing Errors in Python

Parsing Errors are not faint issues in programming, and in python, it’s not otherwise. Errors can occur irrespective of what you code if you don’t input the syntax, strings, and variables, among other attributes correctly. However, when this happens, how to go about setting things right becomes the priority.

This situation is never pleasing to any programmer, and if you are new to coding, this becomes even more frustrating. Also, if what you are coding is not short for easy spotting of bugs in lines, it consumes lots of time to address and debug.

I know this might sound confusing if you have never experienced any parsing errors before while writing codes. Still, it’s not something you should worry about as you are not alone in it, and reading this article means you are in the right place to gain its knowledge.

Now, are parsing errors solvable in python? Yes, of course, and in this article, we will cover what is parsing errors, how it differs from syntax errors, what causes parsing errors, how you can avoid them, what you should do when it arises, and more.  We would talk about all these on the bases of python programming language. With that said, let’s get on it.

What are Parsing Errors in Python

Parsing Errors in Python

Parsing errors in Python are coding errors that do not answer the rules of Python. When using Python, there are some rules for executing any command, and it is the responsibility of an inbuilt interpreter to check for code mistakes to enable a well-readable, clean code.

Parsing errors, also known as syntax errors, occur when the code written in a Python script is not in accordance with the correct syntax of the Python language. These errors are detected when the script is being parsed by the Python interpreter. The parser identifies the location of the error in the code and raises an error message indicating the type of syntax error.

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For example, consider the following code:


while True print('Hello World')

Running this code will result in the following error:

File "", line 1
while True print('Hello World')
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

In this example, the syntax error is caused by the missing colon (:) after the while statement, which is necessary to indicate the start of a new block of code. The parser identifies this error and raises the SyntaxError with an arrow pointing to the offending code.

These rules are not new in python; just like the errors are not an uncommon issue to programmers, though handling these errors will require you to know how to walk your way around using Python programming language.

Although coding in python is very flexible, it doesn’t mean that if any input is reversely incorrect, it bypasses it and overlooks the bugs; no, it fishes it out and addresses it to enable a well-written code that sends the actual messages.

Since Python is a scripting language, it checks lines by line before accepting and writing out any commands, so its parsing errors is not like others, such as execution error that occurs on runtime; hence coding can still be ongoing while you look for the errors and fix it, instead parsing errors halt the continuous coding, it stops the entire process from running until the issues spotted is solved.

However, this stoppage happens because most parsing errors are due to syntax mistakes.

What is the Different Between Parsing Errors and Syntax Errors

Parsing Errors and Syntax Errors

The difference between parsing and syntax errors gets down on the interpreter. Mind you, these two contexts are often used synonymously by many. Parsing errors are literarily syntax errors to most people. Technically, there is a difference because there are several programming errors that can lead to unsuccessful coding, and syntax is just one. But what to note is that, in programming, the syntax is the first command you use, and in some situations, it might even be the only coding combination you need to write good code successfully.

Another thing to note is that there are no parsing errors without syntax errors, which means that the rise of parsing errors in any code is due to the wrong input of syntax. These parsing errors can come from a lack of comma where needed, an additional semicolon, or other functioning elements like single and double quotes, parenthesis, wrong spelling, or wrong usage of python keywords like and, for, or, del, and many more.

Parsing and syntax errors work hand in hand, so do not interchange them for one another. What you should know is that syntax initiates parsing errors. As a programmer, for you to appropriately write readable, clean code, you need the combination of some good attributes of syntax to do that, thus mistyping these attributes, the Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) interpreter will not be able to make any sense of them in runtime, and this will result in no other error than parsing errors. Syntax errors, unlike other python programming errors, can completely disallow your code from running, so be careful of its usage.

Syntax Errors Samples,

Syntax errors, occur when the code is not properly formatted according to the syntax of the Python language. Here's an example:

>>> while True print 'Hello world'
File "", line 1, in ?
while True print 'Hello world'
SyntaxError: invalid syntax


Exceptions occur when an error occurs during the execution of the code. Here are some common exceptions in Python:

  1. ZeroDivisionError: Raised when division or modulo by zero is attempted. Example:
>>> 10 * (1/0)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
ZeroDivisionError: integer division or modulo by zero
  1. NameError: Raised when an undefined variable is used. Example:
>>> 4 + spam*3
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
NameError: name 'spam' is not defined
  1. TypeError: Raised when a value of an incorrect type is used. Example:
>>> '2' + 2
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
TypeError: cannot concatenate 'str' and 'int' objects
  1. IndexError: Raised when a list index is out of range. Example:
>>> list = [1, 2, 3]
>>> list[3]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
IndexError: list index out of range
  1. KeyError: Raised when a dictionary key is not found. Example:
>>> d = {'key': 'value'}
>>> d['other_key']
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
KeyError: 'other_key'
  1. FileNotFoundError: Raised when a file or directory is requested but doesn't exist. Example:
>>> f = open("file.txt")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in ?
FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: 'file.txt'

There are many other types of exceptions that can occur in Python, but these are some of the most common ones.

Some of the Places to Spot Syntax Errors That Result in Parsing Errors

Some of the Places to Spot Syntax Errors That Result in Parsing Errors

  • The File Name

The File Name tells you simply the name of the file where the syntax errors occur. Every file in python has a name, and it serves as the identity of the file. When typing a code, if the inputted syntax is wrong, it doesn’t run; instead, the interpreter reverses the code to show the various errors, including the file name of that current code. It’s easy to note because the word File will be written then the invalid syntax name in the same line in quotes.

e.g. File “”

Additionally, looking at file name in the broader view, saving and naming the code you are writing helps boost easy retrieval and access, and this method is not otherwise in python. In fact, it is very crucial because, as we stated above, syntax errors can stop the entire running of your code, and whenever this happens, what you have to do is to go back to where the file is saved and reopen it to fix the errors, thus without a proper file name for your script, it will not be quickly re-accessed.

  • The Code Line and Line Number

The second indication after the file name is the code line and number. It is easy to spot – as it helps identify the exact code line errors and numbers for you to know and not struggle around. If the code is small, you will not have to search at all rather than rewrite it correctly. Complicated issues always occur with the larger code. But not to worry, it’s not difficult; the flexibility with python always works with the syntax.

e.g. File “”, line number (whichever line it is).

  • The Caret

Caret is another interesting component here. Since python is read line by line before runtime, whenever a syntax error arises, the actual line with an issue to be rewritten would have a caret underneath it, signifying the core part of the code that has problems to be resolved. The uniqueness of the caret is its sign (^). Some will call it raise to power sign in mathematical calculations.

e.g. let’s say “sum = b z”; for instance, if the problem in the coding is on b, the caret will show its sign (^) under the exact word, number, or alphabet.

  • Error Message

The error message displays after the caret. Although it might not tell you the particular issues, it will definitely give information on the error type. It shows you why the interpreter could not make sense of the code you have typed and, as such, provide a response of invalid syntax instead of running the code. The error message is helpful most times when you encounter syntax errors resulting in parsing errors. It is always the last at the bottom of the display error code.

e.g. SyntaxError: invalid syntax

What are the Causes of Parsing Errors in Python

What are the Causes of Parsing Errors in Python

The causes of parsing errors in python are sometimes minor and other times not. What this means is that each attribute that makes up a meaningful code counts, so don’t handle any with flippancy. As lightweight as a comma is, it can cause a substantial disruption of a script and pause the runtime of a code.

However, to avoid this calls for the knowledge of what these parsing errors are, and I believe we have done justice to that above. In this article section, we will outline and explain some of the causes of these parsing errors. Let’s see what they are.

  • Comma

First in line here is a comma, and as tiny as this syntax seems, many of you might be wondering what on earth this can disrupt. Well, you are right to think commas are minute. Still, to tell you, the omission of it is the most familiar syntax error in python because unlike other programming language groups like C++ and C, Python has no comma operator unless on tuple strings separated by commas, e.g., T = (30, 20, 10, 5, 2). A missing comma is a downside in python and can disorganize a code from running.

Pay attention to this, as it is one of the core causes of parsing errors you would hardly spot. Though the interpreter will indicate the place where mistakes are, and the error message goes as far as tracing the exact line number where the situation lingers.

  • Strings and Parenthesis

You might want to know why these components are not separated. We thought of it too but looking at their usage, they often work together. Strings can either be single or double quotes. In python, this is yet another significant cause of parsing errors.

A code is usually in an enclosed parenthesis or brackets, but inside that bracket, strings are to be used like a clip to specify the worth of that information, like (“good”) or (‘good’). Missing the usage of any of the strings will result in an error.

For instance, if the names of people are to be listed, comma usage comes to play, coupled with strings and enclosed with parenthesis. After which, the codes will pass through the scrutiny of an interpreter to read it by lines to spot any bugs or errors to be fixed, rewritten, or reproduced. The parenthesis comes in three types, ( ) { } [ ],  and in python, the one to be of choice is by the context and use case of what you want to code.

e.g. list = [“name12”, “name14, “name15”, “name16”]

The above will pop out an error and won’t even run because a string is missing in name14. The correct code should be

list = [“name12”, “name14”, “namee15”, “name16”]
  • Semicolon

Semicolon in Python is quite different from other programming languages. Unlike the C class and C++, where the semicolon means to terminate a statement, in python, this element is to add multiple statements in the same line. Semicolon is sometimes substituted for comma because there is no usual usage for it in python coding except in the context of using several statements.

However, note that they function differently. Don’t misuse or omit it in crucial codes, or a parsing error will occur. One thing is that many programmers don’t even know python support semicolon. It’s often controversial since the needs don’t arise most time. It serves as a separator or delimiter.

  • Variable Names

Variable is also one of the core components here. Variables usage in python is to store data in the system memory. Thus when there is any missing syntax can result in parsing errors because variable labels each command execution on runtime. One common mistake that occurs here is primarily with those learning python programming.

They tend to abbreviate words, combine variables, use space instead of an underscore, and misuse upper case. When this happens, errors occur, and the python interpreter denies the code from running because while checking the code lines, it did not understand the message you are trying to pass across.

e.g. course name “Parsing Errors”

Course Name=“Parsing Errors”

Coursename = “Parsing Errors”

These are three examples, and the similarity is that all the variables are wrong. Variables should be in small letters with an underscore and not space. Also, there should be space between the assignment operator (=) and the course name. Though python has an automatic formatting tool that can help correct wrong code format, try always to write clean code. The correct structure of the code is.

course_name = “Parsing Errors”
  • Python Keyword

In python, there are certain unique keywords reserved for specific coding. They have clear use cases and meanings and are restrictive in the context python allows. There are several categories of these keywords in python; these are soft and normal. The keywords are always available and do not require importing them into your code.

One of the primary reasons for using them is that they make code more accessible and readable. Misspelling and misusing them will lead to parsing errors. Some of these keywords are False, and, True, as, import, await, pass, global, not, or, async, for, amongst others.

What to Do When Getting Parsing Errors in Python

When Getting Parsing Errors in Python

Getting parsing errors in python is not in any way comforting, and when this keeps coming up while coding, it weakens and destabilizes even the programmer involved. Hence, the first thing that comes to mind is what to do when getting these errors. There are a few ways to go about it when parsing errors occur in Python. In this section, that’s what we will be getting on.

1. Read the Error Message

Python reads codes in lines, and when battling with any parsing errors, it shows you where the issues arise, the affected lines and numbers, also the name of the said errors that occur. As such, it will guide you right to know what to do unless you don’t get the gist of using the language correctly.

Read every treatable error message to find the exact source causing the errors, and be meticulous because sometimes the traceable place is not the precise caret. When you trace where the error is coming from, then get down to the second option on what to do when getting these parsing errors.

2. Rewrite the Code

Rewriting the code is what you do next when your python interpreter spots the errors, and you confirm it’s the right place the mistakes arise. To rewrite an inputted wrong code is one of the most effective ways we recommend when getting parsing errors in python. All you need to do is to type and correct the apparent errors manually.

Though we recommend this, it can be pretty exhausting when the code lines and syntax errors to be rewritten is of a large file, but if otherwise and the file is small, even though it might consume some time, it will be less draining. Therefore, be careful and deliberate when writing your code. Parsing errors are frustrating compared to how flexible python programming is.

3. Re-run the Program

Re-running the program is the next in line after carrying out the two ways above. While running a code, the PHP interpreter reads the code line by line to check for errors. Likewise, when re-running the code again, the interpreter re-checks what you have corrected to ensure a simple, readable code without any form of mistakes that will be causing parsing errors.

One thing you should never forget is that python code with errors has no runtime because if the inbuilt interpreter cannot make sense of what you have written, there is no way it can run. i.e., the interpreter is the starting point of a successful running code.

FAQs About Parsing Errors in Python

Q. How Do I Avoid Parsing Errors in Python?

Avoiding parsing errors should be a top priority when coding in python. Python is a user-friendly programming language, but when its components that will make up a meaningful code are wrong, it results in a parsing error.

So to avoid this error and enjoy the simplicity that comes with this programming language is to make sure every typed syntax, variable, and string, among others, are well used while creating any code.

So be intentional with every punch you make on your keyboard. PHP Python interpreter is a good help, but it is never a bad idea if you use a python code checker tool to confirm and check your syntax to find errors. This tool is free and easy to use.

Q. How do I handle Parsing Errors in Python?

Handling parsing errors in python is one of the significant issues that beg for attention, but there is nothing to worry about. Error handling in any programming language is somewhat exhausting, especially when the errors are on large files. In python, this is not different; the concept and context are the same.

Parsing errors in python are pretty malleable in the coding of few lines than that of several lines, thus make sure to avoid this error like stated above and if it's still alarming, be calm to read every traceable error message popping up, pay attention to the actual caret, rewrite the code and re-run the code for Hypertext Preprocessor interpreter to check and clears you off all errors before runtime.

Q. Why is Syntax Error Often Mentioned When Talking About Parsing Errors?

Foremost, there are no parsing errors without syntax errors. What this means is that parsing errors occur as a result of errors in either some omission of commas, misuse of strings, or parenthesis, amongst others. As little as a comma seem can actually disrupt an entire script from running.

However, to answer the question, a syntax error is often mentioned when addressing parsing errors because for parsing errors to arise, there has to be an error in the syntax attribute somewhere in the code you are writing. Note that all syntax errors are parsing errors, but not all parsing errors are syntax base errors.


Parsing Errors are not a new issue in python, but how you go about these errors determines whether or not your code will successfully interpret its intent.

In this article, we have succeeded in walking you through the key things you need to know about parsing errors and major pressing issues surrounding them in python, as well as what you have to do when the struggle of these errors comes up. So if you have been dealing with these errors or curious about what parsing errors are, carefully read this article to get what’s packed in and your lingering questions answered.

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