Sobre vs en
in the lesson 1.9 I heard the expression "La lámpara está en la mesa" which means that "the lamp is on the table". However to me it sounds more like "the lamp is in/inside the table". Wouldn't it be more correct to say that "La lámpara está sobre la mesa"?
What is the most common way of saying things like that?
"the lamp is on the table". However to me it sounds more like "the lamp is in/inside the table".
How often are lamps inside tables in English? Mmmm...
Wouldn't it be more correct to say that "La lámpara está sobre la mesa"?
If you are afraid of lamps that grow inside tables, no doubt, but otherwise, "en" is the preferred option in Spanish.
I think sobre is used more as over something rather than on it for example. Hay un mantel azul sobre la mesa= there is a blue table cloth on the table. Of course sobre can also be used as approximation for example Quedamos sobre las siete mañana por la tarde, we will meet about seven tommorrow evening. Ken.
Thanks for your answers. From now on I will be more accurate with Spanish prepositions
But still, is saying "en la mesa" more common than "sobre la mesa"?
¡Hola! I agree with Heidita that en can mean many things, though I usually think of is as on and not in or inside. Even though to English speakers this might sound a little funny, having a preposition that can mean in, on, and many other things combined, you just have to accept that Spanish is different. Also, thanks for giving my a giggle for picturing a lamp inside of a table.
HI int, welcome to this friendly site.
En is a very frequently used preposition in Spanish and can mean almost anything, I'm afraid.
One of the most frequent uses however is "on", being this some kind of surface (wall, table, dress)
Have a look at this reference article by Paralee on prepositions.
In Spain we seldom use sobre meaning on.
Hi int33h said
Thanks for your answers. From now on I will be more accurate with Spanish prepositions smile. But still, is saying "en la mesa" more common than "sobre la mesa"?
Yes. Also just accept that "en" can be on or in. The context will normally dictate which.
El libro está en la mesa. La mesa está en el salón.
The book is in the table? The table is on the sitting room?
I think not. It is obviously the other way round.
The book is on the table. The table is in the sitting room.