The issue is there seems to be NO syntax error. 1. There is no relevant code before or after this line. 2. Yes, one would think a ! should be there as did I (I didn't write the code), however, even with the ! it still gives the same error. if (function_exists('gzcompress')) die(FUNCTION_NOT_FOUND); is giving me a syntax error, unexpected 'if', expecting 'function' or 'const' I am updating this code from PHP5.3 to PHP7.4 and I can't figure out what the syntax problem is since PHP allows this. I am using Eclipse PHP to do the conversion.