"C'est tard le soir" : fem v. masc
The examples used just follow "tard" with "le soir," but the feminine form says "dans la soirée". Is this just a coincidence or is it the case that "dans" must be used with the feminine and cannot be used with the masculine?
Hello Kamelia. "Dans" is not connected with the gender of the words but with the meaning. In English we use “evening” for both meanings. "Soirée" is the period of time. “Dans la soirée” (or “pendant la soiree”) shows that something happened inside that period of time.
"Soir" is the position of that period of time in the day. (“Matin” is the first period of the day, etc.)
("Jour" and "journée", "matin" and "matinée" are linked in the same way. There is a good explanation in Remy's answer to an earlier question here: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/51243 )
If you would like to go deeper, there is a fuller discussion here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=158142
I hope this helps.