When you use the adjectival kind of "this", it has to agree with the noun's gender. Этот город, эта девочка, это яблоко, эти дети. In case of neuter words (like яблоко) the same "это" is used: Это яблоко. This is an apple. // это яблоко = this apple. The difference between a sentence and a phrase is made through context.
It is a city name.
Originally the name was just Novgorod ("Newtown"), but to distinguish it from the other, older and well-known Novgorod to the north, the city was often being called "Novgorod of the Lower lands". This land was named "lower" because it is situated downstream, especially from the point of view of other Russian cities such as Moscow, Vladimir and Murom. Later it was transformed into the contemporary name of the city that literary means "Lower Newtown".
Isn't Novgorod considered the oldest city in Russia? It's always amused me that such an ancient city is called "new town".
There is a version it was founded by some settlers from somewhere and was called "New Town" from the beginning. No one changed the name since.
Interesting story about the city of Novgorod. Until now that we are learning here that Gorod means city, i realize of the meaning of Novgorod. Today I have learned a new thing in the history of Russia.
I hope someone can correct me in case I'm wrong so others can learn from my mistake, but I think it's because "это" in this example means "This is a". Using "этот" would make it "this city". Think of the list being этот (masculine), это (neuter), эта (feminine), эти (plural), это (this is a). Both are grammatically correct, but have different meanings. Like Olimo also explains above I think :)
but not all the "write what you hear" examples are full sentences. so why isn't either OK?
Having "to be" conjugated for us would be really helpful. Looking back at the "lesson" for this section, it's not there; so I forget the subtleties of "this city" vs. "this IS a city", and so forth. But the explanation they've started inserting above the text box is helpful.
The audio for this one should be redone, it sounds almost like German "bitte" instead of это
Sounds extrangely and warpedly similar to a euskera sentence in which E.T.A. is encouraged
When en russian can you read O like A? Before in old russian books, they put accent on O, its mean you will read o. But now avec new books they dont put accent.
It would be nice if there were separate excercises for the phrases like "this city" from "this is a city". Right now it's hard to keep the distinction clear, at least for me
I feel like this could also be the answer to a question though. -Какой город? -Это город.
Ok, nobody but a Dragnet nerd would ask this, but would Зто город also be correct for, "This is the City, Los Angeles, California."