"The bag is near the table."
Translation:Сумка возле стола.
Why does Возле стола сумка not work here? We have just been having a whole series of exercises emphasizing that usually the where comes before the what in Russian. What makes this situation different?
Because it is about THE bag and not A bag. The where comes before the what when the English phrase begins with 'there is/are"
I think your example means "there is a bag near the table", which is a different thing.
Why is 'table' used in the genitive case (стола) and not prepositional (столе)?
Is this just a rule applied when you use 'возле'?
You're thinking of на = "on" whose objects take prepositional case when static location is involved. Objects of the preposition возле take genitive case. It's just something to memorize.
Note: When motion is involved, objects of на are in accusative case, as in Я кладу посуду на стол = "I put/place the dishes on the table"
It's not on the table, so you don't use prepostional. It's near it. Though I would have that you should use instrumental for spatial relationships.
Yup, that's what I've found.
Objects of the preposition возле take genitive case.
But стол is nominative/accusative. Стола is genitive.
Why isn't "Возле стола лежат сумка" acceptable? It seems to be in line with everything I've learned so far, but it was marked wrong.
Because it's right to write возле стола лежит сумка, but there is no word lies (лежать), better сумка находится возле стола.