"That small animal is a dog."
Translation:Tamto małe zwierzę to pies.
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That's just a way of creating sentences of the "X is Y" type, with both X and Y usually being nouns or noun phrases. They're both used in Nominative.
- Pies to zwierzę (A dog is an animal).
- Twój tata to miły człowiek (Your father is a nice man)
- Poprawna odpowiedź to "Czechy" (The correct answer is "Czech Republic")
But not only:
- Zielony to mój ulubiony kolor (Green is my favourite colour) - this could go the other way round as well.
This does not go well with using pronouns ("On to lekarz" would be a rather unnatural sentence), so be careful.
That is correct. It's also the less common word order, in which the first part takes Instrumental, not the last part, as usually. But it makes more sense, if you're asked 'what's your favourite colour', then the information about the actual colour usually ends up at the end of the Polish sentence. But still only the 'colour' part can take Instrumental, because it's "Green is a colour", not "A colour is a green" (which is nonsense).
Those constructions are equivalent and generally mean the same, although of course there are some shades of meaning, which are rather hard to explain. "to" is a bit like a "=" sign. "jest" is more... like a description. That animal belongs to the canine family.
In this particular sentence, I would choose "to". A simple "Yup, that's a dog". But on the learner's level, they're generally similar enough.
Większość ludzi uczących się polskiego nie jest jednak dziećmi. W dodatku nikt wcześniej (a jednak sporo Polaków nawet dla zabawy zaczyna ten kurs) takiej konstrukcji nie sugerował, przynajmniej niczego takiego nie kojarzę).
Tak czy siak, wtedy po angielsku to musiałoby być coś w stylu "That small animals, that is a dog".
I'm confused, if zwierzę is masculine, why is it "tamto małe" in that case?
Yeah, diminutives aren't even taught in this course and they are really rarely accepted. But it makes sense that piesek/pieskiem was accepted here (just accepted), and well, if the algorithm suggested it to the user because it seemed like the closest answer, we can't really control it.
I still don't understand why "Tamto małe zwierzę jest pies" is wrong...