Translation:The woman and the girl are eating apples.
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You can tell from the article. Mädchen is neuter from a grammar point of view, so it takes das (or one of its conjugated forms) in singular. In plural it is of course die, der, den, die as for all plural nouns.
This is not only true for Mädchen but indeed every word that ends in -chen. This is one of the two diminuitive suffixes in German (i.e. it adds a meaning of "small", comparable to Spanish "-ito/ita") and words which end on it are always neuter, no matter their original gender: "der Hund – das Hündchen". Mädchen has been used as the normal word for "girl" for quite some time, so we don't think of it in terms of its origin "Magd (maid) + chen" anymore, but that is the reason why girls are grammatically neuter in German.
Hope that helps.
Äpfel is plural; the singular is Apfel without the Umlaut. Also in German – like in English – only plural nouns can appear without an article (or something similar like a number or a demonstrative like “this”). So if we replaced the plural Äpfel with singular Apfel (“Die Frau und das Mädchen essen Apfel.”) that would be just as ungrammatical as English “the woman and the girl are eating apple”. You have to add an article: einen Apfel “an apple”.
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Its a bit strange about this translation. 'Die Frau und das Madchen essen Apfel' You can't quite tell if Mafchen translates to singular or plural. The verb might confuse you to translate to plural, like 'The woman and the girls are eating apples' Any tricks how to get these right?
You’re right, the noun Mädchen doesn’t tell you whether it’s one or multiple girls – but the article does. das Mädchen = the girl (singular) vs. die Mädchen = the girls (plural). (Note that the forms of the articles change depending on the grammatical case of course, but for neuter nouns like Mädchen the two forms are different in every case).
Also be careful with the umlauts on Apfel. Apfel without umlaut is singular; Äpfel with umlaut is plural. The missing umlaut made me think at first glance that you were talking about one apple and forgot the article. So do pay attention to them, they are not optional. If your keyboard doesn’t let you type umlauts, you can substitute the corresponding base vowel + e: ä = ae, ö = oe, ü = ue (this is actually the origin of the dots: people used to write the e above the letter to save space, and in the old blackletter script, that e looked like two short vertical strokes which later became dots).