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it might be hard to tell the difference between pomme and pain at first (to me, pomme sounds like 'pom' and pain sounds like 'pahn', and they're distinct -- but i can see why it's hard to distinguish). however, you can also listen for the definite article to help you figure it out. pomme is feminine, so it's preceded by the definite article 'une', whereas pain is masculine and would be preceded by 'un'.
also, i've generally heard 'du pain' (literally, "some [of the] bread") instead of "un pain"
Both answers are ok, depending on the context. If I ask, what do eat the woman after lunch, I'll say la femme mange une pomme, but If I ask , what is the woman eating now? She is eating an apple / elle est en train de manger une pomme, it means the same thing but at a different moment.
A noun is a word that represents a person, place, or thing, whether concrete (e.g., chair, dog) or abstract (idea, happiness). In French, all nouns have a gender - they are either masculine or feminine. The gender of some nouns makes sense (homme [man] is masculine, femme [woman] is feminine) but others don't: the words personne [person] and victime [victim] are always feminine, even when the person or victim is a man.
It is very important to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because articles, adjectives, some pronouns, and some verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they modify.
There is no easy way to determine the gender of every noun, and you have to remember the gender with each word. But a number of patterns in suffixes and word endings are helpful: some tend to indicate masculine or feminine nouns (be careful with the exceptions).
Please have a look at this comment on noun genders in French: