How can I tell when it should be "reads" and not "read" (past tense) in this sentence?
Lê could not be any past tense, but only:
(você) lê = you (singular) read.
(ele/ela) lê = he/she reads.
- (tu) lê = you (singular) read! (order)
"She" is not "the book", so no. Nouns have their own gender, which is only affected by a personal pronoun with gendered nouns (i.e. those that apply to people - names of professions, mostly - or gendered animals).
"O livro" will always be masculine, no matter what.
Then all nouns have a gender? Is there any rule that is applied when a noun is assigned a gender? As in, what kind of noun would be feminine and what kind would be masculine?
1) All nouns have gender; 2) There are no faultless rules (other than nouns regarding people matching the natural gender of that person; i.e. the words for mother, niece and daughter are always feminine); 3) Most feminine nouns end with -a, most masculine nouns with -o, but there are tons of exceptions (e.g. most words ending in -ção are feminine, again with exceptions like "o coração" , the heart; "o escanção", the [male] sommelier) so you should learn a noun together with its article (try to memorize not just "tomate", "albatroz", " abelha" and "felicidade" but "o tomate", "o albatroz", " a abelha" e "a felicidade".
I just noticed something. Not all words that end with -a are used as feminine. The word word "dia" meaning day is not used with -a. They use -o like "o dia" not "a dia" I don't know if there's more words like that. Portuguese is not my native
Words imported from Greek ending in a are often masculine, for instance o programa.
That's incorrect in English as a translation of a sentence in the present tense, and therefore could not be accepted by the system.
- She reads (present) = Ela lê (presente)
- She read (past) = Ela leu/lia (pretérito)
In english the more natural thing to say is "she is reading a book." How would this be said in portuguese? Or is "she reads a book" the most natural in day to day conversation?
The more natural to say is " she is reading a book / ela está lendo um livro " Plus the two are spoken on a daily basis
She reads a book = ela lê um livro. She is reading a book = ela está lendo um livro.
Can someone explain to me the difference between, leem, lemos, le (w/ the circumflex over the e) and leio?
This is called verb conjugation. Each person/number has its own verb form. You can check verbs at sites like Conjuga-me (irregular forms are indicated).
- (eu) leio = I read
- (tu) lês = you read (informal, rare in Brazil)
- (você) lê = you read (informal in Brazil, formal in Portugal)
- (ele/ela) lê = he/she reads
- (nós) lemos = we read
- (vós) ledes = you read (archaic)
- (vocês) leem = you read
- (eles/elas) leem = they read