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tree = Function[x, Defer @ FullForm @ x, HoldAll]; Now: 2 + 2 // tree Plus[2, 2] I used Defer to allow the output to be evaluated. If you do not prefer this replace it with HoldForm. For some explanation of the mechanics of this code see: Why doesn't "Defer" work with "TableForm"? See also my standard methods for ...
In Mathematica version 10, you can also use Inactive to allow the Symbol to be created before doing the assignment. Here is an example: Clear["x"]; Activate[Inactive[Set][Symbol["x"], 3]] (* ==> 3 *) x (* ==> 3 *)
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