"Kocken lägger lite smör i stekpannan."
Translation:The cook is putting some butter in the frying pan.
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Both English and Swedish tend to use på/on in cases where you put things on top of something which has a flat top surface, and i/in in cases where you put something into something that is more like a container. The frying pan is not seen as totally flat here, but more as a container. The butter can be liquid and still stay in the frying pan.
A typically flat thing is a cutting board (en skärbräda), if you'd put the butter there it would be on/på respectively.
I wrote "The cook adds a little bit of butter into the frying pan" as I struggled to find a relevant word for 'lite' without referencing a 'piece' or 'bit'. And to me, 'some' doesn't specifically mean that it is little. Maybe "The cook adds a small amount of butter into the frying pan."?
And is it ok to use 'lägger' as 'placed' instead of 'put'? Put feels a bit generic.