"El elefante bebe la leche."
Translation:The elephant drinks the milk.
frank- el elefante bebe leche. leche is incountable and that's why we say in English, he drinks milk, but for exemple. We work in a zoo and we want to know if the elefante prefers the milk or the water. We put both in front of the elephant and I leave. When I'm back, I ask you : what did he drink? The answer would be : he drank the milk, because that wasn't milk in general but the one we gave him.
franck, milk is a liquid, you can count how many glasses you see, but milk by itself, you can't say one milk, 2 miks, 3 milks, but you can count, 1 apple, 2 apples, 3 apples.
yeah, the general pattern (I'm avoiding using the word "rule") is that words that end in -o are masculine and -a feminine. Also l-o-n-e-r-s masculine and -a, -ión, -z are feminine with many -ma, -pa, -ta being masculine (something to do with Greek origin ...). But, as you've noticed, there are exceptions to the patterns.
I found this helpful, even if it's not comprehensive: