This is context specific and should NOT penalise native English speakers. "I eat baguette" is also likely to happen in conversations. Let's take this example.
What do you eat daily? I eat apple [for breakfast/etc].
"I eat apple" is perfectly okay in English (especially conversational) - because I am referring to "eating apples in general". Alternatively, if I had mentioned: I eat AN apple: I always eat ONE apple. I eat THE apple: I am pointing to some particular apple type.
In French, you can't say Je mange pomme -- that's incorrect. You have to use an article.
You are not supposed to know just by looking at the word. I understand your pain. In the beginning most of my mistakes were from mixing la and le as well. You just have to keep at it and it will become part of the word soon enough, this site is about repetition so just keep repeating the exercises! Don't worry about those mistakes too much, if you fail an exercise just because of the gender of a word consider it a win. You did everything right except a detail so it's a win in my book! Stay positive and keep at it!
A "baguette" is a particular type of bread.
Think of how we use the word "bagel" in English. We eat a bagel, we eat 3 bagels. I am eating the bagel I bought this morning.
Of course a baguette is not a bagel - it has different shape and texture - but in terms of grammar they both work the same way.
Although they are both types of bread we can't simply substitute "bread" for either in a sentence.
"Je mange la baguette" can be translated as either:-
"I eat the baguette" or "I am eating the baguette".
'This is because French does not have a present continuous tense. So we don't use "je suis" in the French sentence but we can still use "I am" in the English sentence.
This particular sentence cannot translate as "eating the bread" because a baguette does not translate as bread - it is a particular type of bread.
Some sentences are like this: Je mange du riz. Je mange de la viande.
Meaning: I am eating(some) rice. I am eating(some) meat.
Question: How would i know if i should use du, de la, de l' etc or la le as an article in a sentence? Or in this sentence they just specifically say that the baguette is being eaten?
First it is important to see that "baguette" is a feminine countable noun.
In this particular case it is "the baguette" so the French is "la baguette". If instead it had been "I am eating a baguette" then the French would be "..... une baguette".
If we had a masculine countable noun it would be eg:-
"The lemon = le citron"
"A lemon = un citron"
"du" and "de la" are used with uncountable nouns such as rice, meat, milk, cheese etc.
"I am eating the rice" = "Je mange le riz"
"I am eating some rice" = "Je mange du riz"
In this English sentence "some" is optional - if we leave it out the meaning of the sentence stays the same. The equivalent of " some " cannot be left out of a French sentence. So we get:-
"I am eating rice" = "Je mange du riz"
"De la" is the feminine equivalent of "du" So works in exactly the same way except of course it is used with feminine uncountable nouns.
Long, thin pieces of crusty bread basically. There are some pictures at this link: http://www.demeterclarc.com/2011/04/09/boulangerie-baguettes/
Or try Googling it. :)
You're right about the second sentence but not about the first. "de la" is a partitive article. Partitive articles are the equivalent of indefinite articles but they're only used with uncountable nouns. The partitive articles are; 1. Du, used with masculine nouns 2. De la, used with feminine nouns 3. De l', used with both feminine and masculine nouns starting with a vowel.
The indefinite articles are; Un, une, d' and des. They're used the same way in the same order as the ones above but, they're used with countable nouns.
Finally, to talk about something in general, you need to add a definite article. For countable nouns, you have to pluralize the subject adding "les". And for uncountable nouns, you add "le" or "la" depending on whether it's masculine or feminine.
Edited; So, "bananas are yellow" is " les bananes sont jaunes" but "I eat baguettes" (in genera) is " je mange des baguettes"
Keep at it. After doing it a couple times you will start to remember it just like it belongs to the word and you will stop thinking about it. Don't beat yourself up over it, if you make a gender mistake and you got the rest of the sentence correct that means you are doing really well!
I didn't say it was a rule. I said typically. (That means usually.) I memorize a lot, but my memory is not perfect. When it fails me, I use general connections to make an educated guess. This was taught to me by my French teacher. Be careful about what you assume. There are almost always exceptions to rules in both French and English. (By the way, un singe is masculine too.)
It's a long, thin, cylindrical and crusty loaf of bread from France. You can try Googling it, or go to this link for some pictures: http://www.demeterclarc.com/2011/04/09/boulangerie-baguettes/
Baguette is spelt the same way in both English and French.
That's true, unless that French word has made its ways into the common English vernacular, which baguette has. There are many French words which have made their way into the English language.
What English words would you propose to substitute for cafe, croissant, amateur, ballet, eclair, and mousse, to name just a few?
Pretty much anywhere in Canada, is my guess. I've certainly seen "baguettes" available for purchase in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
(I just googled and it's looks like "pretty much anywhere in Canada" is correct; I see that 'mini baguettes' have been available at Tim Horton's lunch counters since 2002)
Baguette as "stick" refers to wood or iron.
(Although "French stick" is one of the translations for baguette as bread and perhaps might be accepted....)
In this case, because it's being eaten, it is a type of bread - a long and narrow loaf of bread made from only flour, water, salt and a leavener.
But "baguette" can also refer to a thin flexible stick (a baton), a long rectangular cut for a gem, a small rounded moulding used in architecture, and a pattern on socks.
For more information, type "baguette" into your image search engine. There are countless images of bread shaped into the baguette form.
"Le" is used whenever you're referring to something that's masculine such as "le garcon" (the boy)
"La" is used whenever you're referring to something that's feminine such as "la fille" (the girl)
It's just a matter of learning which nouns (people, places or things) the French Language determines as masculine or feminine.