"This is a good meal."
Translation:To jest dobry posiłek.
Because "this" is not used as a pronoun here (this dog, this man, this bottle), but as a subject (This IS). And the sentences of "This is/These are" model always require 'to' which is then not a neuter pronoun but the subject as well: To jest/To są.
What's the grammatical reason that "dobry posiłek" isn't in the instrumental here? I thought there was no predicate nominative in Polish?
In sentences with to you use nominative, after być you use instrumental. Maybe this will help: http://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/cases/instrumental/#adjectives-to-nominative
the sentence has to (jest), you can skip "jest" after "to", and the noun is in nominative.
Thanks, I get it after Vengir's explanation also. I hope you understand where I was coming from though? Just saying "only use instrumental after być" and linking to a page saying the same doesn't fill us in on the other information some of us might need to make sense of why we have the nominative after być in this sentence.
The reason that's confusing is because this sentence has both to and być. In your second example to "replaces" być but in the case of this sentence we still have być while to replaces "Auto" (or whatever - the subject?). I don't understand how I can make this any clearer.
There are very rare cases, where one might actually use instrumental instead after „to jest”, but you should not worry about them.
I'm not sure what you are referring to. I said that "In sentences with to you use nominative, and with być - instrumental". I didn't link some petty dictionary definition but the page containing, in my opinion, a good comparison of those two possibilities of expressing that, mostly with intention to give some examples (Auto jest drogim prezentem / Auto to drogi prezent).
To put it simply, sentences that would translate to English as "this is…" use nominative.
So everything that comes after "To jest ....." will be in nominative? I've learned that the verb "być" controls instrumental. It will not be wrong if I say "To jest dobrym posiłekiem"?