- Surface structure is a sentence in the form that it is heard and spoken.
An example of surface structure is that's my book.
surface structure definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
in transformational grammar, the formal structure of a sentence as it actually occurs in speech and as distinguished from the abstract, underlying deep structure
surface structure definition by American Heritage Dictionary
In generative grammar, the structure that corresponds with the actual form of a sentence.