"The man has a spider."
Translation:Der Mann hat eine Spinne.
"eine" because Spinne is feminine and feminine nouns take "eine" in the nominative and accusative cases :)
einen would be used before a masculine noun -- for example, Der Mann hat einen Hund "the man has a dog", since Hund is grammatically masculine.
But Spinne is feminine, so the correct form is eine Spinne here.
And a neuter noun, e.g. Pferd, would have been ein Pferd.
This is what confused me, until i realised i was using the wrong word.
If the man had a spinner, it would be einen, as spinner is masculine.
Spinne (no r) is feminine, so eine.
Spider is Spinne.
habe is for ich -- ich habe = I have.
hat is for er, sie, es (he, she, it) as well as for singular nouns -- er hat = he has, der Mann hat = the man has.
der Mann habe would be like "the man have".
hast is only used with du -- when you are speaking to one person whom you know well.
If you are speaking to several people at once whom you know well, you might use "you" in English as well, but in German you would say ihr habt, not ihr hast.
I forgot the 2nd 'n' in Mann. Why isn't this flagged as a typo vs wrong answer?
In general, if a spelling mistake results in another valid word, Duo marks it as an error as it can't tell the difference between an honest mistake and deliberately typing the wrong word (perhaps because you learned it wrongly).
Both man and Mann are valid German words, so if you write der man (or even der Man -- Duo generally ignores capitalisation), it assumes you meant to write that, and marks it wrong.
If you had written der Nann, you would probably have got a typo warning, since Nann is not a word and so it's probably a typo or finger-slip.
Apart from sounding silly, how would using the incorrect "the" words effect communication? If I said "Die Mann", would that change the meaning of the sentence at all?
Apart from sounding silly, how would using the incorrect "the" words effect communication?
It may just sound wrong or it may actually impede communication.
die Mann just sounds wrong, but if you said die Mädchen instead of das Mädchen, you've turned it from "the girl" (just one) into "the girls" (many of them), and if you said die Leiter instead of der Leiter, you've changed the meaning from "the leader" to "the ladder":
Most of the time, using the wrong article will just sound odd and wrong and mark you as a foreigner/learner, but sometimes it can actually cause confusion.