"We live in an apartment."
Translation:Viviamo in un appartamento.
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It has nothing to do with grammatical gender. It's called phonosyntactic gemination or doubling; it happens in some cases when a word ends in vowel and the next starts in consonant, but it's only written down when the words are joined. So "sopra tutto" became "soprattutto", "da per tutto" became "dappertutto", and so on; "ne il" became "nel" but "ne lo" and "ne la" became "nello" and "nella" (ne is an archaic form of in).
From what I'm reading online, abitare is used for living in an actual place, a residence, or the people you live with. Vivere is used in the wider context of "to be alive." If that is the correct rule, it sure would be nice if Duolingo would just drop a little sidebar in there with the rule. That might mean we'd learn instead of just guess until we copy whatever Duolingo says we're supposed to say without understanding its application.