Do both "en la mesa" and "sobre la mesa" work equally well for saying "on the table" in this context? Would there be any difference?
From what I can tell, saying "en la mesa" could mean that you put them on or in or at the table, whereas if you specify "sobre la mesa" then you put them on top of the table. It's just more specific.
Then again, I'm learning too. Is anybody going to come along and point out that I was completely wrong?
I see...that sounds like it makes sense. So you're thinking it would be more used at times when we would say "on top of" instead of just "on"? So it would be used in a case like this:
Person #1: "Put the box on the table." (Pone la caja en la mesa.)
But person #2 starts putting the box under the table.
"No put it on top of the table!" (¡No, la pone sobre la mesa!)
I think that's the meaning, but I'd probably use it more as using sobre in the first place if you specifically want it on the table, and en if you just want it in the general area of the table for you to deal with later. I hope I'm making sense.
Yes, you're making complete sense. Now hopefully your earlier challenge for someone to point out that you're wrong will help egg someone on to help us verify it. :D
I've noticed that en is a catch-all for many different prepositions in English. You're right; it's probably a good idea to use 'sobre' in the first place just to be clear.
Well, except you put stuff ON a table not IN it (God, don't start on how that can happen if a table has a drawer, etc) just as you put stuff in a box not on it (yes, I know...) So it's context. Spanish isn't weird here, same in French - and they rarely get it wrong either...
I think sobre and en are interchangeable for putting something on a table and they worded it this way to illustrate that you don't have to use sobre.
is this an expression meaning to set the table? or did she just put a pile of plates on the table?
The proper English expression is "to lay the table". One would say she laid the plates on the table if one were a an English speaker.
Yes, I think it does mean to set the table, but duolingo marked me wrong with that answer
Could you please explain why "puso" does not have an accent over the o? I thought it was necessary for the preterite for "he, she, or you" formal singular. Is it an irregular verb?
I wondered the same thing, knowing that there are irregular verbs in all languages. I read this page, and found the answer near the bottom. I guess time and memorization will fix my issue with the accented "o" and hearing other cues to know who is doing what and when...
XD The first time I translated this, I accidentally typed, "She put the tables on the plate". Now I'm giggling hysterically and I really need to go to bed.
Guess what! You got fooled by somebody else who called the list, hints. The pull down list are not hints. They, in most cases, show various other uses of words, and are presented for educational purposes, and not deviously to trick students, nor to serve as a choice.. And a lot more are shown in your Words list and none of them are hints..
Earlier I was told that someone put "un libro sobre la mesa" - and now someone is putting plates "en la mesa." This is very confusing.
Irregular verbs (preterit-new stem) do not carry an accent and are pronounced with the stress in the next to last syllable.
It's impossible to put plates 'in the table' in English, unless said table has a drawer for that purpose. But in that case it would be 'put them in the drawer of the table'...