First of all, shame on anyone who is being negative about grammar not being totally correct. This is an open resource and free, and I'm very grateful to the people who put it together. As someone who has taught English, I abhor shaming tactics. If you see English grammatical problems in translations, simply report them and say something civil about it in the comments. Don't get nasty, it's totally uncalled for.
That having been said, it's an easy mistake to make. Many Americans tend to talk fast when it comes to contractions or words that sound like them. But contractions are only for nouns. This, that, these, those are all demonstrative pronouns, and don't qualify to get a contraction or apostrophe because they can't be possessive and there's nothing to contract there, either.
I meant apostrophes or any of their uses. I have been sleep deprived all week working on a website project...I clarified it above. Basically I meant it's easy to mistake This's as a word you might have in English because one might assume that this + is could be contracted but they can't, nor can they be possessive apostrophes. I meant to say you couldn't do either one. I need more sleep.
I'm not sure I get what you're saying. "This is" doesn't get contracted, but presumably because it wouldn't sound any different anyway. "That's" is valid, and "these / those" don't get "'s" because they're plural, and get "'re" instead (although they would only be contracted in informal writing, or to imitate a person's speech).
Это is pronounced "eto" and sometimes "eta", right (according to the previous questions)? I've read somewhere that the O (amongst other letters) change their sound depending if they are stressed or not. I can understand that. But, is there a way to know when a word/syllable is stressed and when it's not? Or, is it just practice?
Unless there are accents written you generally have to know. Usually if an o is in the end of a word it is unstressed, and depending on declension the stress can move in the word. There are rules about where stress is in words but they can be very complicated, I'd suggest looking in a Dictionary, these will have the accents written.
Is there meaning added to this sentence dependent on the way someone would pronounce this sentence, timing of a reply to someone, body language, etc that would add context besides -this house-...? Or would this sentence only be used in a type of situation where someone simply asked which house? - answer - this house. ..? ..Because we are only in the beginner lesson and simply paining two words together and not elaborate sentences yet.
Russian doesn't really use verb "to be" in present tense much. It is so frequently omitted that it's a rare occurrence.
Here, you can be sure that this is a full sentence because the gender of the noun дом isn't neuter like это, so you know this is the independent "this" and not attributive to дом (which is a masculine noun). "This house" would be этот дом.
In another question where we had to listen to and translate a speaker (Mama, this is Dima, a medic) special emphasis seemed to be on the pauses between 'mama' and 'Dima' signifying that 'this is' was meant to be between the words. When 'eto dom' is spoken, should a pause be between the words as well? Thank you to anyone who can clarify this for me.
Do you mean have the Duo sentences in Cyrillic or your keyboard in it? If you mean your keyboard, you will have to wait until someone else chimes in as I still can't get it to work on my computer and have settled on using an online keyboard and copy/pasting. There are several online to choose from but I think most people have had an easier time of installing the Russian keyboard.
If you are asking about the sentences being displayed in Cyrillic, look at the exercise you are on, upper left hand side under the blue Duolingo header. There is a slide function which changes the alphabet used. You can switch back and forth.
Hope this helps.
этот means "this" and it's used to define nouns only of the masculine gender, for example этот стол - this table (not a full sentence!)
This "this __" for feminine nouns is эта (эта машина - this car) and for neuter nouns это (это пиво - this beer).
Это means "This is ___." It is used with any words, and it forms a full sentence. Это стол. - This is a table. Это машина. - This is a car. Это пиво. - This is beer. Это хорошо. - This is good. Это не стол. - This is not a table.