"They put the bread on the table."
Translation:Ils mettent le pain sur la table.
The English verb 'put' here could be present tense or simple past. Therefore I translated as ' ont mis' instead of 'mettent'.
I wrote this correct answer first, but then checked the drop down translations. It said that "mettent" meant "put on" and so implied that I should not use "on" again. Can someone clarify both the meaning of the main verb, and is it repeating "on" to use sur; and in what situations to use or not use it? Thanks for your help.
"mettre" generally means "to put", but "mettre" can mean "to put on" as in, to put on clothes or make up ("je mets une chemise" - "I put on a shirt"), but not in the sense of "to put something on something"; that would require "Mettre" and a preposition like above. In that sense you're not repeating the "on" by using "sur" because here, "mettre" just means "to put".