"It is a simple hat."
Translation:Det er en simpel hat.
Can/should this be "Den er..." since "hat" is of the common gender? This was described in Basics 1, but I have not seen "den" used a lot as "it".
I can understand your confusion, but it should be 'det er en simpel hat'. Even though hat is common gender, and you would say: 'Den simple hat'
In the sentence the hat is not the subject of the sentence but instead what we in Danish call the subject's predicate, and here the gender of the predicate does not necessarily influence the gender of the subject (den/det), at least when it comes to "kopulative" verbs (for instance to be="at være", to be called="at kaldes", to become="at blive" etc)
In Danish, when you describe what something is, we always use 'deT er'. In the same way 'what is it?', is always 'hvad er deT?'
Thank you very much, I believe I understand. Perhaps my confusion comes from the fact that "den" can be used as object when referring to common gender words. Recalling from here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/da/Pronouns-objective
Han er en simpel person = en man helst ikke vil være i selskab med. Hvad er en simpel hat? En grim eller beskidt hat eller mener I : En ganske almindelig hat? en normal hat ? En hat uden dikkedarer?