"Нет, это не тетрадь."
Translation:No, this is not a notebook.
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Here's the way I learned for German and Russian when gender agreement with the noun is actually required, and when it isn't. Unlike Italian and Spanish, where agreement is always required, in Russian and German, there are times when you should use the neuter form instead.
If это is separated from what it equals (это = тетрадь) by a verb, or by the implication of a verb (since you do not actually see "to be" in this sentence), then you should use the neuter form (это). Agreement is not necessary. However, if это is on the same side of the sentence as what it equals, and is NOT separated by a verb (visible or implied), then you must make it agree with that noun, and you would say эта тетрадь.
I will illustrate this for you in German as well, since the language structure and vocabulary are much closer to English and it may be easier for people to see there. :-)
Consider the sentence, "Das ist nicht eine rote Blume." (That is not a red flower.) "Das" (That) serves the same purpose as это did in our Russian example. It is neuter. However, Blume is a feminine noun. But notice what happens with "rote," (red, f.) which is NOT separated from Blume by the verb ("ist"). The masculine/neuter form of this word is "rot." But because it is on the same side of the sentence as "Blume," it must agree in gender, hence "rote Blume."
As you have likely noticed, this would not be proper Italian or Spanish, since agreement is expected in Romance languages across the entirety of the sentence. But in Germanic and apparently at least one Slavic language, that is not true.
Please let me know if this explanation helps any!
Compare. Тетради has a very clear и sound at the end.
The letter does not make any sound in the modern language. It modifies the pronunciation, though:
- we use it to mark patalisation when there is no vowel to show it: пять, тетрадь, мальчик
- or to keep the Y-sound of a iotated vowel: семья, вьюга, льёт
- it is also used in some loanwords like медальон to actually spell a Y (an original Russian word usually be spelt медальён instead).
There are a few cases where it does not matter:
- ш, щ, ж, ч are sometimes spelt with a ь right after. They are pronounced the same regardless
- in reflexive verbs, -ться (infinitive) and -тся (3rd person singular) are both pronounced цца