"Is that cheap?"
Why can't this be used without the "are ha" why can't it be only "yasui desu ka?
安ですか (Yasui desu ka) would be asking "Is it cheap?" Which comes off as ambiguous compared to specifying これは安ですか (Are wa yasui desu ka), "Is THIS cheap?"
I know this question is a year old... but I'm still a tad confused. I thought one of the big details of Japanese was subject ambiguity... which I would think would allow "That" (Are wa) to be omitted and assumed--given the speaker is talking to someone that is holding the subject. At least that's the context in which I pictured this. Any other explanations is greatly appreciated.
この is only a demonstrative part. It cannot be used as a pronoun alone. You can use この+sth., or これ (it would be this instead of that then).
Does the 'are' always referring the object, or can it be the price, and can it be used dismissively as well?
Would これ instead of あれ be okay here? For instance if someone had it in their hand?