"Quante sedie mettiamo a tavola?"

Translation:How many chairs do we put at the table?

May 31, 2013

This discussion is locked.


table was masculine in an earlier example. Can anyone explain when this distinction occurs? Is it specific to the dining table?


I have learned, that tavolo is the actual table. tavola is when everything is prepared for dinner. that means it includes a set table, the chairs, cloths. The entire experience of a dinner.


Guess they should teach that


I just came across the sentence (in one of DL excercises): "La mia tavola è più pulita della tua"... "the entire experience of a dinner" doesn't make sense in that context.


Secondo il "Dizionario Italiano Mariotti", una tavola è (tra altre cose) un "mobile impiegato per la mensa", mentre un tavolo significa una "tavola usata per scopi vari".


I also am wondering about the difference between tavolo and tavola. I'm guessing that the actual table is "il tavolo" and that when you say at the table it's "a tavola".


il tavolo is the table, la tavola is used when the table is covered or layd with a table cloth, plates etc etc.


Thanks. For a moment I thought we were translating 'Yorkshire' English.


My answer: 'How many chairs shall we put at the table' was incorrect because it should have been 'should' rather than 'shall' - seems a bit pedantic to me!


I believe "shall" is future tense whereas "should" is present. Hope that helps :)


"Shall" is simply idiomatic here. The question is why is "should" implied by "mettiamo"?


In English "shall"is used as a polite form of a question as well as the future (like "will", as in "will you please", we would say "shall I do this?") So "how many chairs shall we put at the table" should also be accepted. I have reported that.


It is; there's no difference to me.

  • 1645

I said "How many chairs do we put at table?" and got it wrong! To me this is on OK way to ask how many chairs do we need for a dinner, say. What do others think?


In English -- at least North American English -- we would always say "at the table".


So did I. It is what we would say here in New Zealand.


Where is the article in 'a tavola' ?


Absent. Some very common Italian phrases drop the article and this is one. No rule - you only learn them by experience.

You may also have noticed Duo teaching in cucina = in the kitchen. Maybe the commonest examples are household ones?


Am I wrong in thinking that in the UK "at table" is not uncommon?


I put "at table" as it's fairly common to say it this way. I was marked wrong, though!


I've realised my error! We could ask how many chairs to put AT THE TABLE but you might use the expression, while we were AT TABLE somebody did something.


Chair - is the Italian - le sedie or le seggiole? Once again, I find the speaker on this site is unclear and indistinct.


What about: "How many chairs do we set at the table?"


"al" is a + il, and in this case tavola is feminine so if anything it would be "alla tavola", which is probably also wrong. I think you can consider this such a common household phrase that they just drop the article and it's only "a tavola"


why not "on the table" and how come in the table i don't think it makes since


you would only put chairs ' on ' a table if you were cleaning the floor


that makes sense, thank you :D


how many chairs do we put TO the table would be right ?


I am a native speaker (American). I would not say to the table but at the table. You could say we are/she is going to the table but if the people are already there, then they are at the table. Hope this helps.


they said this is wrong, that I should have said in the table, not at the table.How can you put chairs in a table?


I wrote "round the table".


Now I see. I should have put around the table.


A VERY strange English sentence!


It is probably a bad translation from the Italian. More usual would be something similar to "How many places (are we setting/laying) at table?", i.e. how many people are expected.

Although linguistically correct, the Italian isn't exactly something for your phrasebook either. The normal phrase for "to set/lay the table" is apparecchiare la tavola, and for the place-settings apparecchiare i posti a tavola. So I'd simply ask Quanti posti a tavola?

Maybe Duo has to use sedia because posto isn't introduced yet.


Tavola=the table for a meal. Tavolo=a piece of furniture. The article "the" is implied and not articulated because there is no specificity associated with the table (e.g. la tavola rossa).


I wanted to write "at the table", but I got blocks with words to use, and the block "the" is missing.


Dipende. Quante persone vengono alla cena stasera?


'How many chairs shall we put at the table' should absolutely be accepted! Idiomatically it works much better in the English

I'm very much aware that the mods don't frequent these boards as well but come on guys, at least get the English square - 'how many chairs do we put at the table' would be accurate, sure, but commonly it's a question about what is to be done, not just what is done habitually, and the translations marked as correct should reflect that as an option


I know that having a multi-century acquaintance with English makes me unusual, but it is not incorrect to say "How many are at table?" without using 'the'.....


Why not "alla" tavola?


Hay is: How many chairs do we "set" at the table - wrong?? Set and put, stated in this manner mean the same.


How is this incorrect? Idiomatically, this is what english speakers say. How many chairs should we set at table?


"How many chairs do we set at the table?" should be accepted. Yes, you can "put" chairs at a table, but in actuality it would be better to say "place" them at or around a table. And just like we "set" a table with plates and cutlery, you can also "set" chairs at or around a table.


If it is 'at the table', why is it 'a tavola' not 'alla tavola'?

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