"I am writing a newspaper."
Translation:J'écris un journal.
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In English, "I am writing" is present continuous tense.
In French, there is no continuous tense (for example, we say: "J'écris", whether in a definite or indefinite period of time.).
You can use the idiomatic phrase "être en train de" to express the idea of continuity. (ex: "Je suis en train d'écrire." for "I am writing.")
If you hover over the English progressive tense (ex: "am writing"), you will get the hints for the French conjugated tense ("écris").
So, if the meaning of the sentence is "in general", then use the English present simple, for ex: "(In general) I write books."
If the meaning of the sentence is "in a definite moment", then use the English present continuous, for ex: "(Now) I am writing a letter."
In French, elision refers to the suppression of a final vowel (usually "e") immediately before another word beginning with a vowel.
For example, "I write" is "J'écris" (and not "Je écris").
This rule also applies before most of words beginning with a silent "h":
For example, "the man" is "l'homme" (and not "le homme").
There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example "the bean" is "le haricot" (and not "l'haricot")
A noun is a word that represents a person, place, or thing, whether concrete (e.g., chair, dog) or abstract (idea, happiness). In French, all nouns have a gender - they are either masculine or feminine. The gender of some nouns makes sense (homme [man] is masculine, femme [woman] is feminine) but others don't: the words personne [person] and victime [victim] are always feminine, even when the person or victim is a man.
It is very important to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because articles, adjectives, some pronouns, and some verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they modify.
There is no easy way to determine the gender of every noun, and you have to remember the gender with each word. But a number of patterns in suffixes and word endings are helpful: some tend to indicate masculine or feminine nouns (be careful with the exceptions).
Please have a look at this comment on noun genders in French: