"It is a window."
The complete sentence would be これはまどです. But in japanese it is not necessary to say all the sentence.
Ex: I am John わたしはジョンです (Watashi wa John desu) OR: ジョンです (John desu).
I think because there's only one thing in the sentence. It's obvious what the subject is.
I could be completely off being an amateur but a topic article may be unnecessary since the subject and the direct object are the same thing
There's no direct object Corbin. Direct object is something that the verb acts upon or the action (of the verb) is performed on the direct object. I eat cake - I is the subject, cake is the object - ie. It's what I'm eating. The dog bites me - the dog is the subject, me is the object - ie. I'm what the dog bites. The girl throws the ball - the girl is the subject, the ball is the object - ie. what the girl is throwing. The verb to be doesn't take a direct object - it doesn't carry out an action on an object. Usually it's like an equals sign - A is B - The water is cold, I am C - I am tall, you are D - you are kind.
Follow-up question: Japanese tends to omit things often but could you use は or が here or would that be ungrammatical?
It's not ungrammatical but it changes the meaning of the sentence in a way that is hard to explain. 窓 まどです。[that is] a window. それはまどです。That is a WINDOW. それがまどです。THAT is a window.
For more info see the book "Making sense of japanese"
I think that would be ungrammatical, は is used to indicate the subject which is implied here without the particle, が is used to continue talking about the subject, so it wouldn't be needed here
The other way around, actually: が is used to mark the subject when it is not the topic (i e the thing we are talking about), while は is used to mark the topic (whether it is subject or not).
The subject of the sentence is implied when saying what things are as opposed to asking it
I got confused on this one because the sentence constructor listed ま and ど on separate tiles... that would be a first, as any other words formed with hiragana characters have always been listed on the same tile... any idea why Duolingo did that?
No, pretty sure previous sentences have had two tiles. I did something like that yesterday.
I think the tiles are random, also its more challenging to keep things different.
Oftentimes Japanese will omit the subject because it is implied. In this case the full sentence would be あれはまどです, but since everyone supposedly knows what we are talking about, we leave off the あれは. You'll see this a lot in informal introductions, like 田中です for "I'm Tanaka."
When it comes to 'person' ie. 1st person singular, 2nd person singular, 3rd person singular etc that is included in the verb. In this instance it is easy to conclude that the 'person' included in the verb here is 'it' (3rd person singular) as the window is a thing, an object and therefore not a he or a she. So まど - a window, です - it is - It is a window.
There is a nice song called "Mado kara mieru" (~ Through my window). That's how I remember that "mado" meant "window".
Para os brasileiros lembrarem imagine que você tenha empurrado seu a"mado" pela "janela". Utilizo sempre essa técnica de lembrar. Pra lembrar banheiro que parece a palavra furo ces já sabe o q a gente lava no banheiro né? Haushuas
Huh, I accidentally only wrote まど, nothing else, but it was still accepted as correct.
I take it one could only answer that way in certain situations?
Copula can be skipped if we don't want to be polite :P. The plain form would be 「窓だ」but だ is typically omitted because the state of being is embedded into the noun itself, the copula is redundant other than to express politeness (です).
「これは窓です」got rejected and corrected to 「それは窓です」. On what grounds? There's no context, how does our bird magically know the relative location? It should either reject both or accept both.
Well... これ would imply that it is next to you, that's not the issue with our feathered friend. However, at least I wouldn't point out an object next to me and say "it", but rather "this". When you say "これ", it implies more of a "this" instead of "it". それ is a bit more loose with either meaning "it" or "over there" or "that's" or (any of the endless varients), but これ is much more rigid in meaning "this"...