"A fried egg"
Translation:Un uovo fritto
"Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl." (Mark Twain, The Awful German Language, 1880)
Don't associate grammatical gender with sex too strongly, because that association is more of a historical accident; a convincing explanation is that long ago there were many suffixes somehow related to the object's nature, but in time they were assimilated and reduced in number, and the surviving ones were the same ones used to distinguish sexes simply because they were the most used.
That's considered a serious mistake in school, because it's a common pitfall: while "una" is elided before vowels, "uno" is truncated. So "un'umorista" is a female humorist, while "un umorista" is a male humorist. In the case of "uovo", it's masculine, so it needs "un". Note that in case of elision there should be no space before the next word.
I thought it would be gli uovi fritti but I didn't know about these plurals. Thanks for educating me.
First "uovo" is masculine, having that in mind: in singular the masculine definite articles are "il", "lo" or "l'" (for words that beging with vowels. This case) and the indefinite "un" or "uno". There is no "un' " for masculine words. "Uno" is used for words that beging with i and j as "semiconsonat" (i think this means they work or sound almost like consonants); also y, gn, ps, pn, s follow by consonant, sci-, sce-, x, y, z. "Un" is used in all the other cases.
**"Lo" is used for the same type of words as "uno" and "il" is used for all the other cases that do not use "l' " or "lo"
Rather than thinking that "egg" comes before "fried," think of "fried" coming after "egg." "Fried" is an adjective that describes the condition of the egg. In general, an adjective follows the noun that it modifies. However, there are exceptions. Here is a mnemonic to help: BAGS. That stands for Beauty (bello, brutto), Age (nuovo, vecchio), Goodness (buono, cattivo), and Size (grande, piccolo). Adjectives that have these characteristics usually precede the noun that they modify.
F.formica, who has posted a few comments above and is a native speaker of Italian, says that this rule doesn't cover everything and he is right. Here is an exception: an adjective always follows the noun when modified by molto or another adverb.
However, I've had two Italian classes taught by instructors who spent many years in Italy. They used this rule as a good general guideline. Furthermore, I have a textbook that lists this rule and another that implies this rule. Duolingo provided this rule in the introduction to the section on adjectives and generally grades according to this rule.
I hope that this helps.