That's not totally exact. Indonesian has several "to be" verbs. Depending of the meaning of "to be". If it's a place, it can be "ada" for instance (Saya ada di sini: I am here), if it's an identity, it can be "adalah".
The only thing is that Indonesian allows the to be verb to be implied when it's obvious. And it"s not grammatically feasible in English.
And even more than allowing, Indonesian is very logical and economical, if something is obvious, they won't repeat it.
So, when you have "Saya kucing" (I cat) it means "I am a cat", the to be is implied, as grammatically possible in Indonesian to skip the "to be" verb, and obvious here, they won't use it. Saya kucing is most common I think that Saya adalah kucing.
Maybe there's a question of emphasis between "Saya kucing" and "Saya adalah kucing", but I would need confirmation, I'm not sure. So, if someone knows...
Well.. here, "ada" is "available". It may be borrowed or you own it. If it's available, then we use "ada". "Punya" is usually used when we own something. That's why, mine=punyaku and yours=punyamu. They own something, "mereka punya sesuatu". So, some people also use "ada" for having something, because the meaning is broader than "punya". In some situations, they're interchangeable.
For example: "I have a tissue" can be translated into "Aku punya tisu" or "Aku ada tisu"
When it's mandatory to make the difference between dia (she) and dia (he), indonesians use sometimes "dia wanita" for she (literally she-female or she-woman) and "dia pria" for he (he-male or he-man).
Dia wanita yang cantik: She is beautiful/She is a beautiful woman:
There's no conjugated tenses, in the same sense than in the Romance languages for instances, declensions of conjugations that indicates future, past, etc, or the past in English, for instance "ate" for "eat".
But there are particles to indicate tenses of the action, for instance "akan" for the future, and "sudah" for the past. Akan doesn't totally works like the English "will" but we can compare it.
But that's true, it's used only when you don't have "yesterday" "today" "tomorrow" in the sentence.
So, if I say "I play tomorrow" it's already a future in Indonesian, and you don't need the "akan" particle. Same for "Saya bermain kemarin", it's litterally "I play yesterday" and it's translated by a past in English, very logically: I played yesterday.
But, if there's no "yesterday", as you don't know when the past action took place, you use the past particle "sudah". Saya sudah bermain.
Think of Indonesian as an economical system, that doesn't like to repeat that has already been said. So, if you made it obvious it's a past by the use of "yesterday", you won't use "sudah". As the past meaning is already there.
In conclusion, there's 2 ways to indicate tenses in Indonesian. Making it obvious through the context (today, yesterday, tomorrow...) or the use of the "tense" particle.
They, with the meaning of plural is "mereka". We cannot translate "dia" in a sentence with "they", as the meaning is totally different in English.
In English, it means either it's plural, or, when it's singular, it means that the gender is unknown or unspecified on purpose. That's absolutely not the case with Indonesian. They know the gender from the context, and they know when the "dia" means a girl or a boy. So, it's not the meaning of an unknown "they".
Technically, you could translate "dia" also with "they", but it's a rare case, as the unspecific singular they is not so common in English. So, the "dia" is simply either translated by "he" or "she" depending on the context.
Here, there's 2 possibilities, it's "He is strong" or "She is strong", so both are accepted.
Take the mental habit that this family of language takes very often the meaning from the context, each time it's possible. It's the same for plurals, and from the "to be" verb implied. It's from context.
There's a solution to use "dia wanita" when you really want to say "she" or "dia pria" for he. But it's only used when you cannot guess from the context or when it's important to mention.
I put "she/he is strong," but I was marked wrong. Would I have been marked wrong if I had said "he is strong?" Duolingo says that the correct answer is "she is strong." What does Duolingo know? How am I ever supposed to get this one correct, if DIA could mean either he or she?
You have to choose either she or he, as they are both correct answer. Duo doesn't work with alternatives, you always have to choose one of the correct answers.
Both "She is strong" and "He is strong" are correct and accepted. Duo only shows one of them, you can choose whatever you like.
Huh. I think that in trying to not be sexist, they are actually being sexist.
How would you suggest it should be translated? "They are strong" would give the wrong impression, since people would think "dia" was plural. I think "He is strong" and "She is strong" are both great translations, since they are both natural ways that the Indonesian sentence could be expressed in English.
No. They're strong would be "Mereka kuat", if you mean a plural.
If you mean an unspecified gender, it doesn't exist in Indonesian. They know the gender from the context (they try to make it clear when they speak). Technically, dia could be also the unspecified "they", but it's not so common in English. So, most of the time, the "dia" translation is simply either he or she (depending of the context).