The use of definite articles is similar to English here.
die Milch is "the milk", and refers to a specific quantity of milk that you have in mind and that you had mentioned before or that is obvious to the listener from context, while Milch is "milk" and is non-specific.
So, translate Ich trinke die Milch into "I am drinking the milk" or "I drink the milk"; and Ich trinke Milch into "I am drinking milk" or "I drink milk".
Sadly, not really. That makes a useful memory tool in this case, but there isn't usually any logic to it. Sometimes, there is, like Mädchen is neuter because it has a diminutive ending. If you get fed up with the genders, you can attach diminutive endings onto all the nouns and they'll all be "das", but native German speakers will laugh at you ;-)
It is only called "feminine" because most nouns for females take "die" (with das Mädchen being an exception because of the diminutive ending -chen). Other nouns that take "die" are called feminine as well.
Ways to predict "gender" of nouns (besides the obvious) :
MASCULINE 1. Nouns referring to male persons including professions and nationalities - der Mann, der Arzt, der Amerikaner. 2. Nouns with the suffix -er added to the verb stem - der Sprecher, der Wecker 3. Nouns referring to days, parts of days, months, and seasons - der Montag, der Abend, der Herbst, der September.
FEMININE 1. Nouns referring to female persons including professions and nationalities - die Frau, die Ärztin, die Amerikanerin. 2. Nouns with the following suffixes: -ei die Bäckerei -heit die Freiheit -keit die Freundlichkeit -schaft die Gesellschaft -ung die Zeitung 3. Most nouns ending in -e - die Suppe (exceptions der Junge, das Ende)
NEUTER 1. Nouns with diminutive suffixes: -chen das Mädchen -lein das Fräulein 2. Infinitive used as nouns - das Essen 3. Proper names of towns and cities, and most states, countries, and continents - das Berlin der zwanziger Jahre, das schöne Italien, das Europa von heute
This is from the book "German in Review, Second Edition" by Kimberly Sparks/Van Horn Vail.
I had a better handout from one of my German professors but have apparently misplaced it over the years.
Only masculine nouns change when they receive an action and stand in the accusative case.
For feminine nouns (die) or neuter nouns (das), as well as all plural nouns (die), the accusative case form and the nominative case form are always the same.
In that case, only context (or conventional word order) can show what is subject and what is object.
The subject is Ich, which does the action, while the object is Milch, which receives the action. This is part of how the case system works, that the articles change based upon the gender of the noun and upon which part of the sentence it serves as. I haven't gotten the whole thing down yet, but that's the gist?
That is correct.
Only masculine words change in the accusative case.
Feminine, neuter, or plural words do not change -- they look the same in the accusative case (e.g. direct object) as in the nominative case (e.g. subject).
die Milch is feminine, so as a direct object it's also die Milch.
Similarly, sie can mean not only "she" (subject) but also "her" (direct object).
What about present simple?
What about it?
Please always quote your entire answer when you have a question. Or even better, show us the kind of exercise you had as well as your answer by sharing a screenshot with us -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and put the URL of the image in your comment.
When we speak about Essen we don't use pronoun - Artikeln die
There is no rule that says that articles may not be used with food.
If you are talking about some specific food (e.g. "the potatoes that I cooked" or "the tomatoes that you can see there"), then you most certainly can use a definite article.
Ich trinke Milch. and Ich trinke die Milch. are both grammatically-correct sentences (and have different meanings).