As you are more than likely aware, French as a Latin-based language, has two different genders, feminine and masculine. These do not relate to the meaning of the word.
Beware! Words which might readily be associated with masculine activities can be feminine, like “la guerre” (war) or “une armée’ (army), when terms with feminine connotations can be masculine, i.e. “un sein” (breast) or “le sac à main” (handbag). In the same way, “une table” (table) has no more feminine attributes than “un fauteuil” (armchair) has masculine particularities.
Conclusion: trying to understand why a word is feminine rather than masculine is rather pointless and a waste of time. The best attitude to gender is therefore to accept them for what they are.
2. Definite articles
The existence of two genders means that “the” can be “le” if the following word (noun) is masculine or “la” if the noun is feminine.
The soup was cold – La soupe (fem.) était froide.
The desert was delicious – Le dessert (masc.) était délicieux.
In the same way, “the” can be “les” when the word is plural (when there are more than one thing).
The tickets were too expensive – Les tickets étaient trop chers.
The children are in the garden – Les enfants sont dans le jardin.
3. Indefinite articles
Also affected by gender, the English indefinite article “a” is going to have two equivalents, “un” when the following noun is masculine and “une” when the following noun is feminine
A plant grows from a seed – Une plante (fem.) pousse à partir d’une graine.
A dog has barked all night – Un chien (masc.) a aboyé toute la nuit.
Beware! In French there is a plural indefinite article, in the form of “des”, it effectively means “some”. Whereas “some” is usually omitted in English, “des” never is in French.
I gave (some) flowers to my mother – J’ai donné des fleurs à ma mère.
There are (some) cars parked in the street – Il y a des voitures garées dans la rue.
Please note: French nouns always come with an article or equivalent word such as a possessive adjective (my, your, his, her, their) or a demonstrative adjective (this, that, these, those).