"Lui mette il piatto in tavola."

Translation:He puts the plate on the table.

August 7, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Why not sulla tavola?


My Italian friend tells me that 'tavola' is used a lot in the context of 'at the table' whereas 'tavolo' is used more as a physical table. So she says that it's used in sentences such as 'would you put that chair at the table', etc. And strangely sentences like the DL one in this exercise seem to be used a lot.


I should also add that that includes 'in tavola' too. Which, quite frankly, throws me a little...

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For me it looks like this: You have a wooden table "il tavolo" on it you can put coffee, put a newspaper. But when you put a tablecloth on it and prepare everything to eat dinner, you get a place where you put something, a closed space prepared for your dinner "LA TAVOLA" This is why you put "sul tavolo" the newspaper, or key. But when you have this place "la tavola" then you put "in"


why it's not “sulla tavola“ then? Italians are doing it on purpose, they're driving us crazy!


I'm starting to think it's because "tavola" does not have the definitive article "la" (in + definitive articles [il/la/etc) = nel/nella/etc.) and I think it uses "in" vs "su" because it must be an irregular thing that we just have to remember, because I've seen "in bicicletta" for "on the bike"...


I have the same question too, and still hoping for an answer!


I have the same question


Many words so far but no answer.


What...? Did you not read the thread? The answer has been posted.

Tavolo refers to a literal table, as in furniture.

Tavola refers more to the place in which you eat your meal, with the table being the centerpiece. Think of it like a zone, rather than an object.

So instead of putting it ON the table, you're putting it IN the table zone. It's just one of those language quirks that doesn't really have a rhyme or reason


Yes! Iwas going to ask that, after all you cant put a plate in a table.only in its drawer

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and sometimes tavolo is feminine tavola?


It seems to me that there is not much sense to it. It just has to learn it the way the Italians would say it.


Yes, I think we will get the "feel" or "sense" of it as we continue to learn :) There are things like that in any language.


Yeah pretty confusing, huh?

I have the same issues with cioccolato and cioccolata, never fully understand when to use which


il cioccolato is used in a sense of a normal bar of chocolate (solid), la cioccolata is used for example for hot chocolate (la cioccolata calda)


Why in vs. sulla tavola?


Here is my thoughts on this question, that I also posted on the other discussion that was referenced below. Just in case you did not see that discussion, since your comment was not replied to directly, I'm cross posting here as well.

I think, since in the instances where "tavola" is used instead of "tavolo", it is indicating the table as a place prepared for dining, it follows the same kind of rules as for "in bagno" . They do not use the article in that construction either. Very confusing I agree, but from what I've been able to infer, for places in the home that have a specific name assigned to them (so, "bagno" as opposed to "la stanza per "bathing" or "la tavola" instead of "il tavolo per cena"), the article is omitted.

Please note: I am NOT a native speaker, so this should not be taken as gospel. This is just what I've inferred based on usage and my experience learning languages. I noticed you hadn't received a response, and wanted to put my two cents in. But if there is a native speaker who would be willing to weigh in, it would be much appreciated on my part.


You don't use it for public places either: in banco, etc.


I appreciate the links provided by others in this discussion. In addition to there being a difference between "tavolo" and "tavola," the use of "in" here to mean "on" seems idiomatic. Useful to know. IT WOULD BE A LOT LESS CONFUSING if Duolingo would provide an explanation when presenting this kind of idiomatic expression.


Why is it "in tavola" and not "sul tavolo"? I thought table was masculine?


There's a good discussion of tavola vs. tavolo over here: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/224654


Is it "in tavola" because because you are eating with the table as a vessel. Like how in Spanish, it's "montar en bicicleta"?


Tavola refers to the table used for meals. Tavolo refers to furniture. If you make a reservation at a restaurant, you book a tavolo; when you get there, you eat at a tavola. Presumably, DL wants you to figure this out on your own based upon the word's usage in a sentence.


So from what I was able to understand, and anyone feel free to correct me, but it seems like there's two uses:

(masc) TAVOLO refers to the literal piece of furniture, so you'd use that when like... shopping for a dinner table, or booking a table at a restaurant.

(fem) TAVOLA, while still talking about the dinner table, more so refers to the ZONE in which you gather to eat a meal, of which the table is the centerpiece.

Which is why "Lui mette il paitto IN tavola" is the translation, because its less important that he's putting it on the table (sulla), and more that he's putting it IN the table zone (in)- if that makes sense to anyone else.


What would coffee table be?


Barron's 501 Italian Verbs says that 'mettere' is defined as to: put, place or set" If that is so why wouldn't " he places the plate on the table" be accepted as well as 'he puts the plate..." or 'he sets the plate..."


Why not "sulla tavola"?

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