"That cook makes good cupcakes."
Translation:Acel bucătar face prăjituri bune.
Why isn't it 'bucătarul?' I thought the nouns conjugated like that in this instance. What I mean is, when I look in wordreference.com, I see examples, such as: Ce ai făcut în această dimineaţă? and Ce ai făcut în dimineaţa asta? See how both dimineaţă and dimineaţa are used? Is it something about their modifier (această vs asta)? Or is it that we can use either one?
It depends solely on the position of that modifier. If after the noun, they both have a definite article, otherwise no article. So this sentence can also be:
Bucătarul acela face prăjituri bune.
In your examples, the difference is based solely on position. They should've been less confusing:
Ce ai făcut în dimineața aceasta?
Ce ai făcut în dimineața asta?
Ce ai făcut în această dimineață?
Ce ai făcut în astă dimineață?
All demonstrative pronouns of proximity and remoteness have an alternative form (called familiar or popular) which is shorter and more likely to be used in conversation. Here's a table with them.
But the thing with familiar forms is that they either don't have a non-articulated form or it's uncommon and awkward. Really, the use of "astă" is mostly idiomatic in some expressions like "astă vară - last summer" and "astă seară - this evening" (..... we'll just gloss over this inconsistency), so you'll probably never hear a native using the
* marked version of the sentence.
Back to the sentence at hand, the familiar form of "acela" ("ăla") has no alternative that could be placed before the noun, so you're left with three options:
Now you can imagine that because the third form has two extra syllables, it's the least likely to be used (should still be an accepted answer, though).