I did as well though the stress is different for она. Perhaps the developers of the course put that in to introduce a situation where the meaning of a word is determined by stress.
он, она, оно пьёт
Все пьют. This is Russia.
They're both conjugations of пить, but пьёт is third person singular, and пьёшь is second person singular.
I thought that consonants before ё were soft anyways, so why is ь necessary here?
The soft consonants are palatalized, therefore closer to a 'y'-sound, but that 'y'-sound may not be an extra sound, that is, it melts together with the consonant. The ь implies, that you pronounce the consonant softly AND include a clear 'y'-sound.
So, if it was пёт, you'd pronounce p'ot (a palatalized p). But here it's пьёт, so it's pronounced p'yot (a palatalized p and a clear 'y'-sound).
Imagine a word пот, then you would say pot (not palatalized p! and no 'y'-sound). And there is a 'hard sign', which is ъ, and if you put that in like this: пъёт, it'd be pronounced pyot (a hard (non-palatalized) p followed by a full 'y'-sound).
How do we know when its a continuing verb as in "she is drinking milk" or "she drinks milk"?
Mostly context or additional words like "now". If you describe the situation when it is possible to mix these two forms I'll tell you what sentence would native use. Speaker is interested to be understood right so usually there is no misunderstanding. In some cases one can ask again "сейчас или вообще?" (now or in general?)
How can I differentiate between "is drinking" and "drinks"? I would need a broader context, right?
It sounds like "She pours water" instead of drink, which is pronounced like peat
So true, some of the words can sound a lot clearer than what they have on this app.
Is пьёт two syllables (with the combination of ь and ё, would ь act like ъ?) or one syllable?
is there a common theme behind conjugating russian verbs? (like in french, pers say). something that would help predict. I've googled, but no little help.
I came to the sudden realization that, I have been taught "She/he/it drinks", "You drink", and "You(formal) drink", but not "I drink"! Does that come later, possibly?