стола is the genitive case of стол, as required after возле to mean 'near'.
How would you say "the door near the table"? to point out a specific door.
Thanks! I tried to translate this sentence as "the door near the table" but it was marked as incorrect. I guess I'll report it then :)
Edit: I can't find a way to report the sentence from outside the lesson.
You do not need to report it because it is not incorrect. In Russian there is no word for "is" or "be." «Дверь возле стола.» is not a clause or fragment of a sentence. It is already a complete sentence. Therefore, you must translate it as "The door is near the table."
Unfortunately, you are wrong on all your claims.
There is a Russian word for “to be”, it is «быть» (along with its conjugations «есть» and «суть»).
«Дверь возле стола» can be interpreted as a part of a sentence and there is no way to tell without context. Even if words and collocations begin with lowercase in this course, it is possible (as demonstrated by HatemShah) to have this phrase as an incomplete sentence on its own: “Which door to the office?” — ”The door near the table”. I don't know about English here, but in Russian it works fine.
«Дверь возле стола» can mean ”the door near the table” and not even under extreme circumstances, so I think this answer should be acceptable as well.
The Russian example suggested that the translation to English should be a complete sentence, indicated by the period at the end of the phrase.
The period doesn't indicate anything, incomplete sentences (in Russian) can end with periods too. The point was actually that it can be both a normal sentence:
Дверь (находится) -> (где?) возле стола.
...and a clause where the predicate is missing:
Дверь -> (которая?) возле стола.
the word «быть» exists, but Russians don't have word for the present tense "is."
Yes, we do. The present tense, 3rd person form of «быть» is «есть». There is a significant usage difference between Russian and English (and it is true that you often do not need it), but it still exists.
Look, I'm not trying to teach you English here. If you believe that saying ”the door near the table” while pointing at it is incorrect or colloquial or for some other reason unacceptable, your comment is not exactly super clear. Yes, I know that it is not a complete phrase, but so can be the sentence you were to translate.
Could it also be "a door is near a table" or any combination of "the" and "a"? Also, seems like возле requires the genitive of table.
See here for a reference on prepositions and grammatical case: https://www.alphadictionary.com/rusgrammar/prepgen.html.
Prepositions have to precede the noun (that's why they are called prepositions).
«Стола возле дверь» doesn't mean anything.