In a predicative sentence (meaning A = B) you have both parts in nominative (in German).
Do you only have to keep this in mind for "sein" or are there other verbs that you have to keep this in mind for too?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copula_%28linguistics%29#Indo-European There are more verbs like that, for example "bleiben" - "remain"
You can also say "It is a girl." instead of "She is a girl.". Consider the preceding question: "What is that?" Answer: "It is a dog/girl." (= "Es ist ein Hund/Mädchen."). Plural: "Es sind 10 Hunde/Mädchen."
What is the pronunciation difference between "ist" and "isst"? Couldn't it be mistaken for "It eats a dog"?
There is no pronunciation difference, although in colloquial language, "ist" can be shortened to "is'". The context will tell, and in your example, it cannot be mistaken for "It eats a dog" because "dog" would be in the accusative case (direct object - one that directly receives the doing of the verb) and thus be "einen Hund" instead of "ein Hund".
You might be interested to find that there's a relevant wordplay on this: http://www.dict.cc/german-english/Man+ist+was+man+isst.html
Danke! It is sort of confusing, but I understand it now. :) These exercises are really making me get the hang of which is what now. haha
By the way, only humans "essen", animals "fressen" (if "fressen2 is used for humans, it is very vulgar).
Ah I see. I just wanted to ask, what is the 2 after fressen2 for? I mean I usually see numbers after a word in Mandarin because it is a tonal language but German isn't.
Does anyone know the proper translation for 'this is'. I keep mixing up "Es ist" and translating it as "this is" instead of "it is".
"dies ist", or "dieser ist" (this one is), but that's usually if you're stressing the opposition of this and that... usually "das (ist)" is used and it floats between this and that, but it carries more emphasis than "es", which is it.
Yes, "das Hündchen" means "puppy". The "-chen" ending makes the word a diminutive.
I disagree. "Hündchen" is indeed a small dog but not necessarily a young one.