Translation:What is this?
Wait so this can be used as a 'What is this' as you might say if you just discovered an elaborate plot to kill you, Or is it more like 'What is this item'?
Can someone help me, i don't understand why sometimes there is an additional character after the 这 which looks like 个 when you say "this". But it doesn't appear here. Why is that and is there an easy way to remember?
My understanding (and my Chinese isn't particularly great) is that 这个 is a pronoun where as 这 alone is a demonstrative. It can be difficult to understand because English doesn't differentiate (if you speak Spanish, it would be like 这=esto and 这个=ésto).
The more granular explanation is that 个 is one of a class of words known (i believe) as "counters" or "counting words" (they're EVERYWHERE in East and Southeast Asian Languages). Basically, when you are counting things there is a "classifier" that you have to add (think, like "200 head of cattle" in English). The word 这 is a demonstrative meaning "this"... When you add a classifier (here: 这个) you are no longer just saying "this," you are saying "this one (of this type of thing)".
I hope that didn't just make matters worse... And PLEASE correct me if I'm off fellow learners!!!