"La fille a une robe et un livre."
Translation:The girl has a dress and a book.
Those exercises are unfortunately rather imperfect (I've heard of random sentences in another language and even sneezes being accepted as correct, and native speakers having their answers rejected) but I'm afraid there's nothing we contributors can do about it. That will take Duo improving their speech recognition.
French has something called grammatical gender, where every noun is either masculine or feminine. Note that the grammatical gender is unconnected to physical gender. It's just a grammar thing.
The gender of a noun can affect other parts of the sentence, in this case the indefinite article (un/une/des) used. "un" is used with a masculine noun, like "un livre", "une" with a feminine noun, like "une robe", and "des" with plural nouns, like "des livres, des robes".
The given English translation for this French sentence is grammatically incorrect. The French is, “La fille a une robe est un livre”. My translation in to English was, “The girl has a dress and book”. However, Duolingo marked this as wrong and required me to place the indefinite article in front of “book”. In French the indefinite article must be repeated in front of each noun. In English, however, it is not required in front of each but only the first in the list. Consequently, the English sentence, “the girl has a dress and book”, is grammatically correct. Duolingo strikes again!
L’ is used to take out a double vowel. For example, la orange becomes l’orange, so no double vowel. We do this in English in a different way. We never say a apple, we add n to make it ‘an apple’, or an argument. Similarly the French say l’homme - the h is silent. In English half an hour, not half a hour - adding the n. Think also can’t, , aren’t where we use the apostrophe to denote that a letter has been taken out. L’ denotes that a or e has been omitted. Hope this helps.
I am having much trouble understanding my grammatical genders. In short sentences I almost immediately know the difference between est/et and un/une. Longer sentences I confuse them when it comes to un livre and when to use et or est. How can I remember which is feminine and masculine? Any tips?
est/et has nothing to do with gender, "est" is the 3rd person singular form of "être" (to be) and "et" is the conjunction "and".
For un/une, I recommend learning them together with the noun - instead of learning "livre" = "book", learn "un livre" = "a book", "une robe" = "a dress", etc. Then you'll automatically know the gender without needing to think about it.