"The chair is below that."
It means "Underneath that [thing], there is a chair/are chairs." While this could refer to the same situation as "The chair is below that", the sentences are nonetheless different: in the latter the subject is clearly the chair (which happens to be below something else), but in the former the location gets a stronger emphasis.
これ、それ、あれ (kore, sore, are) are "this" "that" and "that over there" where the name of the thing being referred to is not known or used.
それは何ですか (sore ha nan desuka?) What is that? これは水です (kore ha mizu desu) This is water
When you want to name the object being referred to you use この〜、その〜、あの〜 (kono, sono, ano) instead.
このテーブル (kono teeburu) this table
その椅子 (sono isu) that chair
あの人 (ano hito) That person over there
The その〜 form is not a standalone word for "that," (that would be それ) but is attached to the thing your naming. In English we just add the name of the thing to the demonstrative ("this" to "this apple") but in Japanese the form changes from
これ (this) to このリンゴ (this apple)
In the context of this question to my understanding:
"The chair is below that."
The "that" at the end of the given English translation implies an object has been indicated in the previous sentence. However this is not what the その in the Japanese translation refers to.
その下 instead applies only to the word "below" in the English translation, or more literally "that underneath area." The thing that the chair is under is implied by the fact that under is a relative term and there must by definition be something above it.
All of which is a long winded way of saying that therefore いすはその下です would more literally translate to something like:
As for the chair, (it is in) that under(neath area).
Rather than thinking of その as a standalone word for "that", I prefer to think of そ as the concept of "away from the speaker" or "nearer to the listener." It is constant in words like それ and そこ and therefore the の still functions as the possessive particle making その〜 something like "attribute of an area nearer the listener."
they all translate as "The chair is under (below) it (that)"
I personally have never seen using その下. Also Liam315 last paragraph of the comment doesn't seem to make sense to me. The translation given for this exercise would suppose "that" to be a pronoun, not an adjective. その is "that" as an adjective, so それ should be used instead. I would have written 椅子はそれの下です。
But then again provide there is no context to this phrase the use of その下 can be plausible if the context made clear what is that's above the chair.
Anyway this exercise choice (far from being the only one) is very unhappy...
その is already a contraction of それ and the possessive の. そのの would be like writing "that's's" and doesn't make sense. Words like その、あの、この must be paired with nouns to specify which noun is being talked about and do not stand on their own.
その is paired with the noun 下 to mean "The below belonging to there near the listener" or simply "that below"
Liam above has a much more in-depth explanation.
椅子はその下にあります should work just fine and mean the same thing. ある is a pretty standard way of describing location without implying that the existence of the thing is new information.
If it were その下に椅子があります then maybe I could interpret it as "There exists a chair below that" implying I didn't know there was a chair at all.
Regardless of the slight difference in potential meaning, it should still work.
It's supposed to be THE chair, that is, a known chair, nothing new. In this situation it's better to use は, since it marks a known topic. If we were talking about A chair (a previously unmentioned one), we'd use が (and probably also a different construction, like その下は、いすがあります). That being said, the difference between は and が is quite difficult to grasp, so people probably don't need to worry about it too much at this level.
It's supposed to be saying した in this context, but the TTS picked the wrong word/reading.
The reverse question also has the same issue. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/32546110/椅子はその下です。
I answered: その下に椅子があります。 Duolingo marked it as wrong. Does anyone know what's wrong with the answer above, if there's really anything wrong with it? I understand my answer shows a greater emphasis on the location instead of on the object, but Duolingo seems to accept the change in other exercises. Is the sentence gramatically incorrect in any way?
I think 椅子はその下にあります is accepted if you were wondering about that.
Your sentence is correct, but using が is more like saying new information, so your sentence would be translated to "there is a chair below that" while in english when you say "the chair～" means the listener already knows about this chair and is just expecting the answer of where is it...
You basically use は to speak about known things between the listener and you. 椅子は means "speaking of the chair". You know the listener knows about the chair but you want to add its location, does that makes sense?
This sentence was really difficult to grasp. I think the culprit is the word "sono". If we simply think sono~ means this~, then it's easy to understand sono desk, or sono TV, but sono below just doesn't compute. In contrast, if we realize that sono is a short for soreの then it works : sono TV = sore の TV makes sense (the TV of there), and sore の below makes sense as well (the below of there). When I think that "so" means there, things get more clear. 椅子は そ の 下 です. The below of そ.
Could anyone please explain why it's placed "その下" and not "下その"? I was just really confused about this, since I tried to put "下その". And the unfortunate thing is that Duolingo never really teaches you about syntax, only how to say certain phrases. If anyone could help that would be immensely appreciated!
は v.s. が shouldn't matter yet in this context. They both work and the difference is too subtle for these earlier lessons.
Answers using ある properly should be accepted. Something like 「椅子はその下にあります。」is perfectly valid and conveys the same meaning. This is a pretty basic construction.
If あります was used a ni would be needed to mark the location of existence, but here です is being used to equate the two nouns "Chair = 'that below'". The "below" is a description of the chair itself, not a description of the place where the chair happens to be, if that makes sense.