"I like this table."
Translation:Мне нравится этот стол.
I had stared at it before... :-) But now that I have a specific question in mind, I think I understand the explanation better. So basically, both would be possible, but without any context (such as this very table being a family heirloom), нравиться is the more likely translation?
Hm. I actually had that specific post in mind when I translated the sentence (incorrectly, apparently) with любить. I guess I'm a little confused about what context there is that would lead one to believe that this is the "first time" the speaker has encountered the table?
I imagined a scenario more along the lines of the speaker referring to their own table (in their dining room or whatever) and saying that the table was one that they liked / had grown fond of / etc.
I was thinking that I'd be talking about a big table that I have in my house and that I am just proud to have. So люблю should be correct. As I understand the sentence that Duolingo has in mind would come up at a furniture store. Maybe duolingo could provide this somewhat crucial information.
Yes it seems so...
note that «Мне нра́вится стол» works in a similar way to the English verb "to seem": "The table seems good to me". The sentence is built as though the table "transmits" the feeling towards you. While rare in English, in Russian, this is pretty typical for feelings and experience to be expressed that way («Мне хорошо́»).
этот is nominative or accusative (inanimate) case - masculine singular
этом is instrumental or prepositional case - masculine singular.
Since "table" is a masculine singular noun and is a direct object in this sentence, it takes the accusative (inanimate) version этот стол = "this table".
меня = me, or sometimes "of me". мне = to me. That's fairly simple. What's probably tripped you up here is нравится, after all the English sentence has "I", not "me" doesn't it.
So here's what you do. Always think of нравится as meaning "is pleasing". мне нравится этот стол means "This table is pleasing to me" (or "To me is pleasing this table"). So now you can see that's it's мне because it's "to me".