"The meal is on us!"
Duolingo is doing us a disservice by not making clear when a copula is required, or optional, or inappropriate, or when it can be זה/זאת/אלה vs הוא/היא/הם/הן. Does anyone know where this info can be found? I have a Hebrew grammar book, but the explanation is arcane and overly academic.
Same here! I also really want to understand more about the use of the copula. Its use on Duo seems a bit arbitrary and it isn't explained properly. My understanding is that it's needed where there is a noun/pronoun + [is/are] noun - where a noun is equivalent to another noun e.g. 'The man over there is a doctor.' Apart from that, sometimes it seems to be used when there is a noun followed by [is/are] an adjective and sometimes not. I'd really like more guidance about when it has to be used and when it's optional.
Expanding on Radagast's explanation: The construct state is when one noun is next to another noun, such as morning, noon, and evening. Feminine singular nouns drop the ה, and add a ת. The meal (ארוחה) then becoming ארוחת or "meal OF". Thus, ארוחת בוקר (breakfast) ארוחת צהריים (lunch) and ארוחת ערב (dinner). As an aside, masculine singular (first) nouns don't change spelling, nor do Feminine plurals, but masculine plurals do, losing the ם, for example, houses--בתים, becomes בתי (ba-tei) in construct form, such as for school which is a house of book or בית ספר, but SCHOOLS is בתי ספר. Probably better examples--but I am not a native speaker. Oh--if you want to make the combo noun definite, ה goes with the second noun. Lawyer or "editor" of law = עורך דין, THE lawyer is עורך הדין, Lawyers is (dropping the ם from עורכים) is עורכי דין and THE lawyers = עורכי הדין, essentially editors of the law.