This book enables a preliminary and theoretical understanding of syntax. It shows readers central concepts in the study of syntax and contains theoretical insights that are strongly grounded in the generative tradition. The book has the following features: 1) It adopts examples from various languages to explain the basics of syntax; 2) it includes abundant examples of the use of Mandarin Chinese to illustrate and exemplify the notion of Universal Grammar; 3) it introduces the theories and techniques of bracketing, phrase-structure rules, and X-bar syntax as the formal tools for conducting syntactic description and analysis; 4) it introduces the newly-developed constraint-based Optimality Theory (OT) as a syntactic theory to describe the structure of sentences and the rules of their formation. This book certainly has its pedagogical significance; in addition, it also contributes to the foundations for a more advanced pursuit of theoretical syntax. This book not only shows the readers how to formally describe the structure of any human language, but it also moves from a descriptive to a more theoretical perspective, demonstrating how modern languages such as English and Mandarin Chinese can be accounted for by adopting OT.