"Ta kaczka je chleb."
Translation:This duck is eating bread.
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The gender of a noun (almost*) doesn't change. "pomidora" is a form of the noun "pomidor", but when figuring out what the gender is, you need to look at the basic, Nominative form - which is "pomidor". It ends with a consonant, so it's almost certainly masculine.
*Almost, because for example words like "premier" (prime minister) or "prezydent" (president) or some names of professions may change gender depending on whether they describe a man or a woman.
Anyway, I think the best way to figure this out is to read this: https://www.clozemaster.com/blog/polish-demonstrative-pronouns/
Yes, "kaczor". "Donald Duck" = "Kaczor Donald".
But we generally don't accept other words for animals than the 'default species name'. It may rather create confusion when suggested to the learner, than be helpful. And frankly I don't think you'd hear "kaczor" often outside of conversations about the citizens of Duckburg (Polish: "Kaczogród", if anyone's interested).
How many nouns? Do you mean how many genders?
Well, in singular you have masculine, feminine and neuter. There is one case (Accusative), where it is also important whether a masculine noun is 'animate' or 'inanimate'.
In plural you have 'masculine personal' plural (almost only 'groups including at least one man') and 'not masculine-personal' plural (as the name says... basically anything else. dogs, boxes, women, houses, everything without men).
Well, if you look just at the literal meaning, then "ta" = "this" and therefore it's just for nearby things. However, Polish and English determiners differ in usage. They differ in terms how they perceive 'closeness'. Basically, Polish [ta/ta/tamta] (and forms) are equivalent to English [this/that/that]. The middle forms overlap. "tamta" is really more like "that one over there" than just "that". The main translations in this course are always the direct ones (this=ta and that=tamta), but every form of "ta" should indeed accept [this/that/the].
Are you really asking about 'eating duck' (je kaczkę) or did you mean 'bread' and focused on the difference between "eats" and "is eating"?
In general, "eats" and "is eating" can easily be translated the same way, into "je".
But there is also a so-called 'habitual' verb for "to eat", and that is "jadać", so here: "jada". This works only for Present Simple. It's not taught in this course, but you can encounter it, it's not something rare. But the plain "jeść" can easily be enough.
With kaczka you must always use the feminine pronoun, as the noun can't change its gender.
It you feel that it's important to refer to the correct biological gender, you can use another noun - kaczor (a drake). Since that's a masculine noun, you'd need a different pronoun, in this case - ten.