1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "¿Qué tienes bajo la mesa?"

"¿Qué tienes bajo la mesa?"

Translation:What do you have under the table?

February 4, 2013

88 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BollockBocculus

"what do you have below the table?" is wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

In that thread, there is a reference to hauling a piano up to a third story apartment. When the rope breaks, a man below the piano on the other side of the building is safe, but if he is under the piano, he is squashed. In English, there is a difference between below and under.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Thanks. Can you explain it please? (with some more examples)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisWhatever

The difference is a little subtle:

if you are under the piano, you are right underneath it, so if it falls, it will squash you;

if you are beneath the piano, you are merely at a lower point in space, which may include being directly under the piano but may not be.

This site give a good explanation, I think. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1535_questionanswer/page35.shtml


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/THeNeeno

cwknox- I am American and there is a difference between below and under. It is subtle, but it certainly exists.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimijimmy

Does this subtle difference apply to Spanish? anyone know? If bajo=under then below/beneath=__?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisk-az

Interesting. I was going to take issue until I saw the BBC reference. We don't put such a fine point on it in the USA. Whether you are beneath, under, or below the piano you may be in danger of getting squashed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PangurBan2019

'What do you have under the table?' OOH! Mysterious! Maybe a birthday present or something, or maybe a beetle to put in your brother's soup? Who knows!

P.S. It's probably not a good idea to put a bug in anyone's food.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GingerPandaSwag

what do you keep under your table? i personally, keep the floor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gizmo4pt8

I keep the chairs under there


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilsandani

Man I should try keeping floors under the table. That's a great idea!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dmi_go

why is "What do you have under the desk?" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

desk is "pulpitro" or "escritorio". Just like in English, a desk is not the same thing as a table, and an escritorio is not the same thing as a mesa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LAntoine

Tengo chicle bajo de la mesa


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1nnamenierxet

under vs underneath?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamaCara

I think you should report it as an error so they can add it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phiggi2

¿Por qué no se usa "abajo la mesa"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZakariaE2

Shirt then table. A pattern is emerging.. I imagine Scarlett Johansen will voice Duo Lingo in the movie which will surely get made.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gizmo4pt8

Or Sigourney Weaver. Seems she is a decent voice over.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JRamos531

What is the difference between bajo and baja? Why does it change?

Is it bajo with feminine objects of the preposition and baja with masculine objects?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SammaRae

In this case, bajo is a preposition meaning "under." Bajo/baja can also be an adjective meaning "short," in which case it changes based on the gender of that which it is describing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salameleon

So when you're saying something is under something else, you always use "bajo"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kite420

Las llaves estaban abajo.

Las llaves estaban debajo de la mesa.

Las llaves estaban bajo la mesa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBW.

Does it seem disturbing to anyone else that the other translation of "mesa" is "committee"? ("What do you have under your committee?")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KBreeding

I'm confused. I thought La mesa would be feminine so I used Baja and got the sentence wrong? When is it correct to used bajo or Baja? I'm finding mixed responses


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

"Bajo la mesa" = "below/underneath" the table"; "bajo el coche" = "below/underneath the car" "la mesa baja" = "the short table"; "el chico bajo" = "the short boy" "bajo el precio" = "I lower the price"; "baja el puente" = lower the bridge" Used as a preposition, it is always "bajo". Used as an adjective (as you thought), it is "bajo/baja"; whichever is appropriate to the gender of the noun Used as a verb, it has all the forms of a regular verb.

How can you tell which to use? By the magic of context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anewtomorrow

Why is it bajo and not debajo de?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xixoxe

"bajo la mesa" and " debajo de la mesa" It is the same. Both are right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrakoLykoi

bajo (la mesa) - is not a position/placement/location of something:

dinero bajo la mesa - money under the table (not actually underneath)

bajo su dirección - under his dirrection

When speaking position/placement/location of 'de' comes into play:

abajo de la mesa - below the table debajo de la mesa - under(neath) the table


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KBreeding

Back of hand to forehead.......Oh Geeesh! Thank you for that wonderful explanation. I will reread and memorize as much as possible. This gets tricky! Glad for the help!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuprotikBa

Can we also say 'corto el precio'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sebastian457

Comedy gold right here fellas, comedy gold........


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wolfleis

In our society we try to hide perverse,illegal,immoral and shamey things So then in(under)everything could be something perverse A table is for example a place to hide But are we now gonna joke "under" every sentence with the word bajo in it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisk-az

May as well. "Under the table" generally implies something being crooked, or at least kept out of sight. Being paid under the table implies something shady, while laying your cards on (top of) the table means holding nothing back. If nothing else,it's good for a joke which may help us remember the phrase.

So,, to return to the topic, does "bajo la mesa" have the same shady connotations en español?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

I'm wondering the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

No. There are a lot of instances where English uses an idiomatic expression (one that means something quite different from the literal meaning of the words) and Spanish also has an idiomatic expression, but they are not the same. For example, something in English may cost "an arm and a leg", but in Spanish, it will cost "an eye out of your face".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

Whoa! I kind of like that one. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gizmo4pt8

Wow, had not heard that expression in ages. Thought since it was an old sailing saying by origin it had just fallen out of use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ngallagher2

What have you under the table ?... thanks spanish yoda


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

Please remember it only sounds like Yoda if you translate good Spanish into poor English. To a Spanish speaker, the original sounds right. If the English doesn't sound right, it is a poor translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

English is one of the few backwards languages. I believe I once read there a five.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeilynLeake

Does anyone know why they don't say "bajo DE la mesa"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/netta32

can some one explain why we don't say "que tienes bajo de la mesa?" why we drop the "de"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisk-az

Because "bajo" is a proposition meaning "under." It would be like saying "under of the table." In the southern USA we might say something is "underneath of the table," but it's not particularly good usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pworley58

What about cerca de? El gato camina cerca del caballo. The cat walks near of the horse. That sounds odd in English. We say the cat walks near the horse. However, the de is necessary in Spanish. Why is de necessary for cerca and not necessary for bajo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paytonruff02

it said pisa which means "floor" instead of mesa which means "table"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anise.sald

Correct sentence: que tienes abajo de la mesa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pworley58

Why is it not "bajo de la mesa"? Other prepositions like cerca have de following.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrakoLykoi

acerca, cerca, abajo, debajo are adverbs that use 'de'

bajo is a preposition

This sentence is an idiom.

Had an object been below the table it would have been "abajo de la mesa" or under(neath) "debajo de la mesa"

(See my other post)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LexiBlakeley

why not "what is under the table?" how would you correctly say that in Spanish?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duostud851

Que esta' = What is, or possibly Que hay = What is there


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoSoyDan

Why isn't it "¿Qué tienes ABAJO la mesa?" or "...abajo de ..."?

1) Can we use abajo? 2) Can we use "de"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshleyWeiss

Why wouldn't we use "debajo de"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pastorsteve99

"under the table" is an American idiom for payment that excludes taxes or fees. Does it mean that in Spanish as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CHirose

In all honesty... I don't care whether you ask me "What do you have under the table" or "What is under the table." But let's be real... We would all ask "What is under the table." Aannd obviously in an apprehensive tone because who would ask that type of question without a hint of anxiety in their voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom968478

All joking aside, should it not be DEBAJO DE?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gez70

Again they still want GOT in the answer and even after 5 years they still insist on keeping GOT in the answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piperTom

The voice clearly has a 't' in: Metza -- Do real spanish speaking people really do this? DL's weakest link is the voices.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sprkr

The new female voice Duolingo recently introduced can't seem to pronounce "tienes" properly to save its life. The fast version comes out as "quenes" and the slow version as "llenes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fivekay

Sounds like "tiene" instead of "tienes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chloe654blake

what have you under the table wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nigel371643

Careful might get your eyes poked out


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raquel735691

I thought the sentence didn't make sense. Womp womp

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.