My 5 year-old daughter wrote this sentence for one of her spelling words the other night:

The butterfly's sight was hot grass.

I thought it was fine. My wife did not. What say you - is this proper English?

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    Grammatically it's fine. The interpretation of her sentence is not obvious. – Greg Lee May 18 '17 at 0:54
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    @GregLee: ...unless you are a butterfly or a 5 year old girl, perhaps. – Drew May 18 '17 at 1:32
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    I love this -- a kindergarten haiku. I think it's beautiful. She'll learn the conventions of school all too soon. – user227547 May 18 '17 at 4:19
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    It does not make sense. What is it supposed to mean? – Arm the good guys in America May 29 '17 at 14:08
  • Surely it should be site not sight. Meaning the butterfly was on the hot grass. – Chenmunka Jul 27 '17 at 14:33

It depends on what the author believes is "a good and proper sentence." If it means that the sentence is grammatically correct, then the sentence is good and proper. If it means that it is both grammatically correct and sensical to a developed human being, then it is not good and proper. Then again, the word "good" is subjective - so in the end, it is up to the author to decide.


While technically correct, the sentence could be made better by changing the word "sight" to "view", as in "The butterfly's view was hot grass." This still makes it a passive statement but improves clarification.

  • That's not a passive statement. That's as active a statement as it gets. Likewise, it is not advisable to use weasel wording such as "technically correct" (what does that even mean? that has no meaning at all), or "improves clarification" (a nonsensical mashup of "providing clarification" and "improving clarity", which ironically enough does the exact opposite of what it's advocating). – RegDwigнt Jul 27 '17 at 15:30

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