"The woman has dresses."
Translation:La femme a des robes.
"la dame" is more polite and respectful that the ordinary "la femme". That is probably what you should keep in mind.
When you greet a woman, you usually say "Bonjour, Madame", whoever she is, just as a sign of politeness and respect.
In the old days, "dame" was exclusive to nobilities, but as you know, after 2+ centuries of republic and "les droits de l'homme" and our motto "liberté, égalité, fraternité", there is no point in making any difference between higher classes and lower classes (on principle).
'Les' is plural for le and la. It means 'the.' The woman has 'some' dresses. To use 'les' would technically be saying all the dresses, if I am correct. Kind of like when saying "I have piano class on Saturdays" you would say "les Samedis." Not "des Samedis" because it is not some Saturdays. I hope that made sense!
Many thanks. I think I've got it. The rules are (a) french always translates 'some' : English often doesn't e.g. 'She has cats' - 'Elle a des chats' (b) In French whether you use 'des' or 'du' for 'some' depends on countability - so 'des chats' but 'du riz', and 'des baguettes' but 'du pain'.
Is that right? what about when the uncountable object is feminine. Would 'She has walnuts' be 'Elle a de la noix'?
I don't exactly understand your question but I think you need to learn basic conjugations, at least for auxiliaries "avoir " (to have) and "être" (to be), before you can venture synonyms:
avoir, indicative present: j'ai, tu as, il/elle/on a, nous avons, vous avez, ils/elles ont.
être, indicative present: je suis, tu es, il/elle/on est, nous sommes, vous êtes, ils/elles sont.