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 _