"O menino prova a comida."
ok. When do I need an article, and when do I not? o menino prove comida v. o menino prova A comida. Why do I need the article? Is there a rule about when you need to use it and not? Because I get dinged a lot here when I use it and I'm not supposed to, and when I don't use it and I'm supposed to. Thanks.
If you're translating from English, there are very few cases when there is an article in English and not one in Portuguese, so you should probably always translate the article.
Unfortunately, there is not one singe hard-and-fast rule that will tell you when you need it and when you don't. Like children, we must figure it out by listening and becoming accustomed to the language.