pong vs. pong'e?
So perhaps I just havent gotten far enough to have been taught the 'e suffix, but it's started appearing, especially on the word pong, but it doesn't seem to change the meaning of pong. I was wondering if someone could explain the difference to me.
'e' is the so-called topic marker. It doesn't change the meaning of a word, it mostly clarifies that word's role in a sentence.
It's mainly needed in sentences that would require the word "to be" in English, which Klingon doesn't have: "tlhIngan ghaH mara'e'" - "Mara is a Klingon" or, closer to the original structure: "as for Mara (mara'e'), she is (ghaH) a Klingon (tlhIngan)". This applies also to sentences saying where someone or something is: "Qo'noSDaq ghaH mara'e'", "as for Mara, she's on Kronos".
'e' can be used to emphasise a noun (not really taught in this course, I don't think) and to mark the head noun of a relative clause (dedicated skill late in the course, you won't need 'e' in that sense before).
Hope that helps.
As E.T.Gregor mentioned, there are a few different, but related uses of the -'e' suffix. There is also a separate word 'e' which is completely different from the suffix.
You will be taught a couple of the uses of the -'e' suffix as you go through this course, but a couple of the sentences in the very early lessons use the -'e' suffix as a sort of preview. You are expected to simply memorize those phrases and later we will describe the grammar in more complete detail. You are reading the Tips & Notes, right?
In any case, I'll give a short explanation and add a couple points to what E.T.Gregor has said. The most likely use that you are seeing is a required grammatical marker for when you are equitation two nouns. Klingon has no word "to be" and uses pronouns to fill that function when equating two nouns or talking about the location of a noun (there are separate mechanisms for connecting a noun to an adjective and for the helping verb). When using a pronoun in that way, the subject of the English "to be" sentence must be marked with -'e'. In this case, the -'e' does not impart any translatable meaning, but it is required to be there. Without it, the sentence is grammatically incorrect, even if it's completely understandable.