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".
Correct. It is like someone entered the room and asked "Whatbhappend to the milk in the fridge?". You could reply "I am driking the/that milk!".
Is there a logic to the gender of a noun? Such as "Milch" comes from a female.
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.
Well, actually, yes. I am from Romania and we have this gender too. It is strange that english does not have it. It's like saying that the word "table" does not have a gender. "Table" is obviously feminine, but in romanian it is not something to REMEMBER, you can also deduce it logically.
WHY DIE? should Milch be the subject that receives the action trinke, thus be replaced by den or sth?
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?
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.
It is uncountable but you can use the defninite article here because you refer to "special" milk and not milk in general. For example the milk you bought yesterday or the glass of milk standing on the table.
how we differentiate that this sentence is simple present or present continuous ....Ich trinke die Milch.
Why would you need to?
In English, students have to learn that we say "I drink milk every day" but "I am drinking milk right now".
Here, you just say Ich trinke jeden Tag Milch or Ich trinke gerade Milch. Easy.
In English, you can't express a "nuance in the difference of meaning" by saying things such as "I am drinking milk every day" or "I drink milk right now". The choice of tense is more or less forced on you by the adverb.
In German, you use use an appropriate adverb, and the meaning takes care of itself.
Does "die" not change to "den" like "der" does when the word is a direct object?
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).