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"un journal" and "des journaux", like "a newspaper" and "newspapers" - countable, definitely...
I keep mixing up the accents. Are there rules that would make remembering them easier?
There is no accent in this sentence. You will never see any accent on any "a" in any verb.
Right! Since I'm only on level 3 learning French, I am having trouble remembering when, where, and why to use the accents. So I asked if there was a way to know when why and where to use them.
There are rules but they are rather unhelpful in use. Eg: the acute accent (') is only used on é. That still doesn't tell you when and where it should be used.
Basically it is simpler to just consider it as spelling which means, just like in English, you have to remember how each word is spelled. In English, some words have an e on the end which may or may not affect pronunciation . Some don't. You just have to remember. Same with diacritical marks in French.
So "un journal" can also be translated as "a journal"? I mistakenly translated it into "a journal" and not "newspaper" and Duolingo declared me correct.
Newspapers of a certain type are sometimes referred to as journals in English. Some newspapers even have journal in their brand name. Such newspapers may or may not have the gravitas that they wish to imply by including it in their name.
"a" is the 3rd person singular of the verb "avoir" (ex: "il/elle a un journal" means "he/she has a newspaper")
"avons" is the 1st person plural of the verb "avoir" (ex: "nous avons un journal" means "we have a newspaper")
In English, you don't add a consonant to a when it is followed by a word starting with a consonant. You only add the n when the next word starts with a vowel.
"un" refers to the noun "newspaper", which is masculine in French.
why is newspaper feminine when you are talking about a man reading a newspaper, but masculine when a woman is reading it?
Actually, "un journal" is always masculine. What changes is the person having the newspaper :
"Elle a un journal" = "she has a newspaper"
"Il a un journal" = "he has a newspaper"