JSON Syntax

The JSON syntax is a subset of the JavaScript syntax.

JSON Syntax Rules

JSON syntax is derived from JavaScript object notation syntax:

Data is in name/value pairs

Data is separated by commas

Curly braces hold objects

Square brackets hold arrays

JSON Data - A Name and a Value

JSON data is written as name/value pairs (aka key/value pairs).

A name/value pair consists of a field name (in double quotes), followed by a colon, followed by a value:



JSON names require double quotes.

JSON - Evaluates to JavaScript Objects

The JSON format is almost identical to JavaScript objects.

In JSON, keys must be strings, written with double quotes:




In JavaScript, keys can be strings, numbers, or identifier names:



JSON Values

In JSON, values must be one of the following data types:

  a string

  a number

  an object

  an array

  a boolean


In JavaScript values can be all of the above, plus any other valid JavaScript expression, including:

a function

a date


In JSON, string values must be written with double quotes:






JavaScript Objects

Because JSON syntax is derived from JavaScript object notation, very little extra software is needed to work with JSON within JavaScript.

With JavaScript you can create an object and assign data to it, like this:

person = {name:"John", age:31, city:"New York"};

You can access a JavaScript object like this:

// returns John

It can also be accessed like this:

// returns John

Data can be modified like this:

person.name = "Gilbert";

It can also be modified like this:

person["name"] = "Gilbert";


JSON Files

The file type for JSON files is ".json"

The MIME type for JSON text is "application/json"