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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    make sense of this poem

    Hi.

    My cousin is five. He was reading a book of poems. Today he read one to me. I asked him "Can you make sense of this poem?". Is my question natural?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    Academic
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    #2

    Re: make sense of this poem

    Not really, if the poem was straightforward, and you mean "Can you understand the poem?" or "Can you work out what the poem means?"
    Your question would be natural if the poem didn't make sense easily for some reason.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: make sense of this poem

    That phrasing might be more common in the US than Australia. Here in the US, it would sound natural if you were asking an older child or grownup.

    With a five-year-old, it depends. Did he understand your question? If he did, it's fine.

    But the phrasing might confuse a small child. With a five-year-old, You might say something like, "What do you think it's about?"
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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