Calculate the FOLLOW sets for all the non terminals:

$S \rightarrow bEx \mid Db \mid b \mid F$

$D \rightarrow EDc \mid Y$

$E \rightarrow dED \mid dDY$

$Y \rightarrow ab \mid aDx \mid \varepsilon$

So I know that:

FOLLOW($S$) = $\{\$\}$ since it doesn't appear anywhere

FOLLOW($D$) = $\{b, a, x, c\}$, since it is followed by terminal $b$ in $S$, $c$ in $D$, FIRST($Y$) in $E$ which is $\{a\}$ ($\varepsilon$ not included), and $x$ in $Y$

FOLLOW($E$) = $\{x, c, a, d\}$, since it is followed by terminal $x$ in $S$, FIRST($D$) in $D$ which is $\{a, d, c\}$

but how do I calculate FOLLOW($Y$)? It isn't followed by anything. I'm guessing since it's at the end of $D$ and $E$ its the union of their follow sets including $\$$ since there's an $\varepsilon$?

Have been stuck on this for a while, any help is HIGHLY appreciated. Thanks in advance for any input


For posterity, the FOLLOW set of any non-terminal can be computed with the following rules (an example using these rules can be found here):

  1. $\$$ (the end of input symbol) is in FOLLOW($S$) where $S$ is the start symbol.
  2. If $A \rightarrow \alpha B\beta$, then everything in FIRST($\beta$) except $\varepsilon$ is in FOLLOW($B$).
  3. If we have $A \rightarrow \alpha B\beta$ as before and $\varepsilon$ is in FIRST($\beta$), then all of FOLLOW($A$) is in FOLLOW($B$).
  4. If $A \rightarrow \alpha B$, then all of FOLLOW($A$) is in FOLLOW($B$).

So for $Y$, we need to apply rule $4$ (as you correctly guessed), so FOLLOW($Y$) $=$ FOLLOW($D$) $\cup$ FOLLOW($E$) $= \{a,b,c,d,x\}$ (I'm trusting your working on the two follow sets).

  • $\begingroup$ This makes perfect sense to me but on my assignment 3 weeks ago with this question, for some reason I included $ in Follow(Y) and got full marks for it. So I probably calculated Follow(D) or Follow(E) wrong? :p $\endgroup$ – eyes enberg Dec 29 '14 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ Or maybe it's because Y has EPISILON ? $\endgroup$ – eyes enberg Dec 29 '14 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ @eyesenberg should the $S \rightarrow F$ rule actually be $S \rightarrow E$? This would put all of FOLLOW($S$) in FOLLOW($E$) and hence in FOLLOW($Y$). $\endgroup$ – Luke Mathieson Dec 29 '14 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Nevermind, spoke to other students and confirmed that her marking was wrong. Many thanks $\endgroup$ – eyes enberg Dec 29 '14 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @eyesenberg that's always a good way to get confused ;) $\endgroup$ – Luke Mathieson Dec 29 '14 at 15:13



A general Rule of thumb is, for any grammar

  1. S -> XAB
  2. A -> BC
  3. X -> Bt

$ Follow (B) = Follow (S) $ (Since there isn't anything after B in Production-1)

$Follow (B) = First (C) $ (Since C follows B in Production-2 and is a non-terminal)

$Follow (B) = t $ (since it follows B in Production-3 and is a terminal)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this. Just for clarification, this also means that Follow(C) = Follow(A) (since there isn't anything after C in production A) right? $\endgroup$ – eyes enberg Dec 29 '14 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @eyesenberg Absolutely. It is a generic rule and is applied whenever there isn't anything after a Non-terminal in a Production. So Follow(C) = Follow(A) $\endgroup$ – SimpleGuy Dec 29 '14 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @eyesenberg And if you think the answer helps you and can benefit others, you may choose to accept it ! $\endgroup$ – SimpleGuy Dec 29 '14 at 13:16

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