ein, eine, einen and female and male
how do I know when to use either "ein, eine or einen" before a word? and how should I know if something is male or female? for example- how should I know that "Zitrone" is a female and "Löffel" is a male?
there isn't a rule to know if a work is masculine or feminine, you just have to learn the gender along with the word when you are studying the word. I find that difficult too, but thats the way it is. You learn the gender + word.
To the first question, ein, eine, einen all mean a/one, which one you use depends on the gender of the word, example ein Mann, because Man is masculine and eine Frau because woman is feminine. Hope that clarifies things a bit.
cough You don't. However somehow you learn and can interpret a lot of things based on the rules your memory apparently just makes up. Your brain is better at detecting patterns than you are. Apparently germans think all women should have a cat and be tied to a kitchen... and read...newspapers? While men should have a dog, eat apples and become professors _
Well, duolingo. This is a very restrikted vocabulary here (until now, but you have to start with something) and the texts to translate are somewhat weird. Some are full of mistakes (especially "das" and "dass" are mixed up), others sound like gossip. Especially the blogs often have relatively bad expression. I feel, it would be better to read a good book. BTW: der Kuchen, die Küche (there is no Kucher)