"Both the menu and the plate are on the table."
Translation:И меню, и тарелка — на столе.
Yes, I noticed after, but Duo doesn't mind not putting comas. In this case, in a russian course, I think it should be important to insist on it because comas are very important. Example: Я тебя люблю больше, чем жизнь (I love you more than life). In english, you wouldn't put a coma there.
Russian punctuation is not easy even for native speakers, so it would be a real pain for learners to use it right. In your example about love and life, the absence of the comma would not make any difference to the meaning (and many Russians would write this sentence without a comma).
Here's an example where the comma is a matter of life and death: Казнить нельзя помиловать:
- Казнить, нельзя помиловать = Put (them) to death; it is not possible to pardon (them)!
- Казнить нельзя, помиловать = It is impossible to put (them) to death, pardon (them)!
It is a classical example of the importance of the comma :-)
No, no, no, I don't say commas are optional. There are rules which you have to follow if you want to write properly. I'm just saying that your example is not very good to demonstrate the importance of comma: both with it or without it the reader will understand you correctly. And so I gave an example when the place of comma can mean life or death for someone.
Yes, the rule is to use the comma with "и ..., и ...".
I was inclined to decline стол as столу. In this case however, it is declined as столе. Is this because it is the prepositional form of стол?
I'm asking because I have not yet covered prepositional forms in this course and I have read somewhere that the Russian langued does have them.
I use the mobile version of Duolingo so I cannot see any "tips" or whatever there is. It is kind of strange because when doing the French course in Duolingo I can see tips right in the mobile app. They even have stories there.
В, на, о, при are used with the Prepositional case. In the singular, its endings are -е or -и depending on the type of the noun (e.g., мама→маме, земля→земле, стол→столе, молоко→молоке, лошадь→лошади, Мария→Марии, здание→здании)
(в and на are also used with the Accusative to express direction)
A handful of short consonant-ending masculine nouns use the stressed -у instead of -е when used with в, на or both (e.g., в саду, в лесу, в шкафу, на мосту, в порту, в ряду, на свету, на льду, в раю, в аду).
Fortunately, стол is not one of them.
It's not correct for two reasons. First, since there's more than one object, we have to use the plural form "лежат". Second, unless the plate is upside down, we don't say "лежит" about it, we say "стоит". Menu on the other hand is probably "лежит". If the placement of the two objects is different in this regard it's better to omit the verb whatsoever rather that force the wrong one on one or more of them.