"What is this?"
Translation:Was ist das?
I think "diese" is used before a noun (ex. dieser Hund ist klein) and "das" is used alone (ex. das ist klein).
Surely the question needs clarification, as there is no indication which gender it refers to,The other answer translates 'this' to 'das' which is a pronoun, which I found out by looking at a German/English dictionary but from the lessons thus far I couldn't have known this.
I don't understand how to know what word to use for "this" in this case. The drop down menu gave so many options it was completely unhelpful. Can someone explain, or give me a good link?
Exaclty, "es" means "it" and can't be translated to "this". But "das" can be translated to both "it" and "this" and sometimes "he" or "she" as well as "the" when it's an article for neuter nouns like: The girl = Das Mädchen.
Just a nice example: Das ist es = This is it.