"The summer is a season."
Translation:Is séasúr é an samhradh.
So, I'm going to describe this in the way my class was taught. It'll be watered down, because y'know, we were first semester Irish students without much grammar knowledge. So, your word order is going to be VANTP.
V = verb
A = Indefinite nouns
N = Names
T = Definite nouns
P = Pronouns
So that's your general order. If you use a definite noun, a proper noun, or a name, you need to include the pronoun (é, í, iad, srl - note, after ní, these prefix an "h") before the first one.
So in your first sentence you have and indefinite noun (araicnid) and a definite noun (an damhán alla). So, putting these in order (A before T), you get Is araicnid an damhán alla. However, you need the pronoun before the definite noun. Since damhán alla is feminine, you use í. This giving you Is araicnid í an damhán alla.
Your second one you have a name (Pól) and a definite noun (uachtarán na hÉireann). So, putting those together, you get Is Pól uachtarán na hÉireann. Yet, you still need that pronoun. Is é Pól uachtarán na hÉireann.
Hope that helps explain it a little. And note, this is really basic, and barely scratches the surface of the copula.
i got this right off the cuff and am inordinately proud of myself. copula is still a mystery to me despite reading a decent amount of technical info - my brain just isn't absorbing that yet. i think i'm hearing enough of it passively through podcasts and audiobooks to be getting the gist of it. subconscious learning for the win! <3
Why not "is séasúr an samhradh é"? I gave that and it marked it wrong. Or is this a case for "my answer should be accepted"?
It isn't "is séasúr an samhradh é" because it isn't - that's just not the way that the copula works.
I'm not trying to be obscure or obstructive. The copula takes time and practice, and it doesn't fit neatly into English grammar structures, and it is flexible in some ways, but rigid in other ways. In this case, the word order is quite rigid,
The post "Eureka Moments with the Irish Copula: A Crib Sheet" might help.