Translation:The woman, the man, the boy and the girl
A simple explanation is that that's just the way it is. Sometimes the gender of a German noun seems to "make sense" based on the meaning of the word, but this is rare.
A more useful explanation is that "Mädchen" has the ending -chen, and all words with -chen also have das as their article.
A more complete explanation is as follows. The -chen part of "Mädchen" is actually a diminutive ending, meaning it changes the meaning of the word into a smaller version of itself. Without going too deep into the etymology, "Mädchen" is basically "Magd" + "-chen". "Magd" means maid, so "Mädchen" is sort of like "little maid". The modern spelling and the fact that "Mädchen" just means girl nowadays are the result of changes in the language over time. More to the point, the gender of German words formed from multiple parts is usually based on the last part, and the "-chen" ending always gives a word neuter gender – which basically just means it becomes a "das" word.
I was under the impression that "Frau" and "Mann" can also refer to "wife" and "husband," respectively, so I answered with: "The wife, the husband, the boy and the girl." However, my response was marked incorrect. Can someone please explain this? Thanks!
Frau and Mann mean "wife" and "husband", respectively, only in a possessive context.
For example, meine Frau is "my wife", and Hast du einen Mann? is "Do you have a husband?"
Here, though, there is no such possessive context and so die Frau can only mean "the woman", and similarly for Mann.
If you want to refer to a husband or wife without specifying whose they are, then you have to use Ehemann, Ehefrau.
No, it's not Neuter/Neutral. Junge is a Masculine Noun, so it uses der.
You can tell from the article. The basic (nominative) plural article is always "die". Therefore, "das Mädchen" means the girl, and "die Mädchen" means the girls.
It's all about emphasis and context. When you say "Der Ball ist besser" (That ball is better) while vocally emphasizing der and perhaps even pointing to a specific ball with your finger, you're expressing the same meaning as that in English.
You can also interpret the meaning from context; in written language, this may be your only option. Let's say you're reading a story in which a girl has a ball and an apple and asks her sister which is better. If her sister replies, "Der Ball ist besser", the meaning of der is probably closer to the meaning of the. Now let's say the girl has a softball and a baseball but asks the same question. If her sister replies, "Der Ball ist besser", the meaning of der is probably closer to the meaning of that. You would know that because saying "The ball is better" generally wouldn't make sense.
What's the reason for DER for man and boy but DAS for child.... Also is there any explanation for using DAS with child as well as non living things like bread and water????
No reason. Grammatical gender is basically arbitrary.
Trying to find a reason behind grammatical gender in German is a bit like trying to find a reason why in English we have "one mouse, two mice" but not "one house, two hice" -- or why we say "you lived" for the past of "you live" but not "you gived" for the past of "you give".
There is no "reason", because the language wasn't designed.
It's just something that has to be learned.
Yes and no.
Yes, they're all forms of the definite article.
But no in the sense that you can't just choose whichever one you want.
It's a very little bit like "a" and "an" in English: there's no difference in meaning between the two, but you can't just pick whichever one you want: "a orange" and "an book" are simply wrong. You have to choose the correct one.
In German, which one to choose depends on the grammatical gender of the noun -- masculine, feminine, or neuter.
The grammatical gender is not, in general, logical and simply something you have to memorise.