Translation:We never tell him that we love him.
We don't ever tell him that we love him. Why not? It's good English
It sounds a bit awkward ("say to him" vs "tell him")
But the feminine version should be acceptable "we never tell her that we love her"
"lui" is a direct pronoun that refers to a male, it would be "elle" for female
No, it wouldn't, because in the case of an indirect object placed in front of the verb, pronoun "elle" becomes "lui", "nous ne LUI disons" (= à elle)can refer to a woman as well.
Speaking for myself, this aspect of learning to speak French - the placement of pronouns - is in some ways the most difficult, particularly if one is having a conversation in 'real time'. It feels so counter-intuitive as an English speaker, but i realise I need to 'think' in French' when constructing sentences to ovecome it. Mais c'est tres difficile...
Try to think of the placement of pronouns as a good thing. As a way to help you get your meaning across. Unlike in English, there aren't two separate words that have to be remembered. You just place it differently.
You don't have to remember the equivalent of to them versus their. Leur after the verb is their, in front of the verb it's to them.
Thanks, northernguy, those are comforting words! I do basically understand the construction and am able to figure it out on Duolingo, I'm really just getting ahead of myself thinking about having a real conversation with a French speaker and wanting it to feel natural in my head. But I'll get there...!
I put 'we never tell her that we love him' how is that wrong I thought 'lui' could mean her or him?
"lui" can mean il or elle, as an indirect object : nous lui disons (à lui or à elle)
"him" as a direct object translates to "le", that here is elided to l'
How many people or animals are there in your story?
If "l'" were an "it", the sentence would be "nous ne lui disons jamais que nous aimons ça".
Failing that, "l'" is the same person as "lui": "him" or "her".
"like" or "love" ? How can we tell for sure? Duo did not accept "like".
"Lui" is the indirect pronoun form of "il" or "elle" when the verb is constructed with the preposition "à".
So, "à+il" or "à+elle" = lui.
Dire quelque chose à quelqu'un = to say something to somebody.
"Nous disons à notre enfant que nous l'aimons" becomes "Nous lui disons que nous l'aimons" when "notre enfant" is replaced by a personal pronoun that you have to place before the verb.