“I saw that she a cookie ate” is an example of incorrect syntax.
Everyone has good days and bad days. Her syntax is sometimes a world unto itself. But George H.W. Bush occasionally sounded as though English were more foe than friend, and he was an astute president who managed complexity with skill and balance. —Jon Meacham, Newsweek, 13 Oct. 2008
Coming from a great distance and wholly unrelated to the Teutonic, Latin and Slav languages that fence it in, Hungarian has remained miraculously intact. Everything about the language is different, not only the words themselves, but the way they are formed, the syntax and grammar and above all the cast of mind that brought them into being. —Patrick Leigh Fermor, Between the Woods and the Water, 1986
Arrangement of words in sentences, clauses, and phrases, and the study of the formation of sentences and the relationship of their component parts. In English, the main device for showing this relationship is word order; for example, The boy loves his dog follows standard subject-verb-object word order, and switching the order of such a sentence would change the meaning or make the sentence meaningless. Word order is much more flexible in languages such as Latin, in which word endings indicate the case of a noun or adjective; such inflections make it unnecessary to rely on word order to indicate a word's function in the sentence.