Should allow alternate phrasings that preserve the meaning, such as "February is a short month"
I agree that is a better translation by meaning, but the "फ़रवरी का महीना directly means "month of February" or "February's month". I think the official answer better demonstrates the Hindi grammar.
The English is grammatically sound but I only ever hear 'The month of etc' in the context of song and poetry ('In the merry month of June....' etc).
An indian friend told me, that "फ़रवरी एक छोटा महीना है" is also possible.
No one this side of the year 1900 would speak of ‘the month of February’.
Hmm, maybe I'm just not understanding something simple here, but why is there होता in this sentence?? Could it not simply be फ़रवरी का महीना छोटा है ?
Yes, फ़रवरी का महीना छोटा है is also correct. Hota hai” / “Hote hain" -a conditional case is often used when talking about the inherent qualities of the subject. In this example, "shortness" is a quality of February since it is the shortest month of the year; "Coldness" an innate quality of "ice" and so on. However, in DL lessons and in the common parlance, it appears this usage does not always follow the rule.