In coding theory, a symbol vector (ordered set of symbols) generated at an intermediate stage of the decoding algorithm for an error-correcting code. The syndrome depends only on the error pattern and not on the transmitted codeword. A further stage of the decoding algorithm will use the syndrome to correct the errors in the received message. The details of how the syndrome is found and how it is used, and indeed whether all the errors can be corrected, will depend on the particular error-correcting code that is being employed. If no errors occurred, the syndrome will usually be the zero word.