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It makes it ungrammatical or completely changes the meaning. 

他是個老師。/ 他是老師。
he is a teacher

他老師
His teacher

他個老師  (Coll.)
shortened from 他這個/那個老師 
This/that teacher of his 

他個老師!(Coll.) 
That *** (expletive) teacher that he is
That *** (expletive) teacher of his


Sent from my iPhone

On 29 Apr 2019, at 06:59, Daniel Bensen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

What does it change about the sentence when you omit the copula in Chinese?

> On Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 8:49 AM Eugene Oh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I disagree, the Chinese copula 是 does not show tense.
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> On 29 Apr 2019, at 03:32, Stewart Fraser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Yes … I think the main function of a copula is to show tense. If not for
> that, many more languages would be completely lacking a copula.
> 
> … Stewart
> 
>> On Apr 29, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Jeffrey Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> In some languages, the copula appears only in non-present tense.
>> 
>> 
>> On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 4:55 PM C. Brickner <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> In those languages where there is no copula "to be", how is tense
>>> indicated?Charlie
>>> 
>