"चाय कौन पीता है?"
Translation:Who drinks tea?
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In Hindi there is no frozen rule as to the order, because you can easily understand what's the subject, what's the object and what's the verb. The rule is SOV but that can change if you want to emphasise something. Here कौन is the subject, if it was चाय the verb would have been पीती (चाय is feminine) and the sentence wouldn't have had sence.
A copula is any word that connects the subject and predicate in a sentence (Eg: 'is' in 'The cat is fat'). In common use, the word refers to the forms of the verb 'to be' ('is', 'are', 'was' etc) which are the most common copulae in many languages.
'To be' in Hindi is the verb होना and है is one of its forms. Many tenses in Hindi are marked by using the appropriate forms of होना. For example, है/हैं/हूँ/हो are the present tense forms of होना and their presence tells us that a sentence is in the present tense. Eg: चाय कौन पीता है? is in the present tense because of है. If we instead switched out the है with था which is a past tense form of होना, we'd have चाय कौन पीता था? (Who used to drink tea?) which is in the past tense.
Almost all present tense sentences have है/हैं/हूँ/हो with a few exceptions (it's dropped with चाहिए, it's optional in negative sentences etc).
copula in this case is the extra conjugation of "to be" in a verb. like in the english "goes" vs "is going", kind of (don't try to bring this analogy into hindi, the continuous "is going" is expressed in its own way). forgetting about the optional copula after negation for a moment, the copula is a factor that can completely change verb tense. look here, for example:
look at the conjugation tables. there are forms that are just like a form above it, but with a copula, but they are different tenses.
the copula is taught in the lesson tooltips, make sure to click the lightbulb on a lesson before going through with it.