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Thread: on the table

  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default on the table

    Hello,

    I came across the following sentences in one of my listening scripts :

    (Waiter) - We don't have a table for ten. I'll put you on three smaller tables.
    (Customer) - I'll have the table in the window, and yes, the rest of us on the other tables.

    I'd appreciate it if somebody could explain why it is 'in the window' (instead of 'by') and 'on the tables' (If I sat on a table in a restaurant, I'd risk being kicked out of the house by the maitre d'hotel )

    Thank you.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: on the table

    I'd kick the waiter first if he tried to put me on a table!

    I have no idea about the second one, but could the first be a metonymy? "You" would be a metonym for "your dishes". This is just an intuition.

  3. #3
    JMurray is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: on the table

    Verona.
    I would suggest that "by the window" is more usual in this case, but "in the window" is certainly common. However, "in the window" is often used to mean placing something in a shop window for display: "The new best-selling book has arrived so we'll put it in the window immediately". I would not be surprised if a waiter suggested he would like to seat us in the window, but I would be tempted to ask what price tag he intended to put on us.
    I think "I'll put you on the small table" and "put you at .." are both normal. "I'll seat you at the small table" is also normal but not "I'll seat you on ..", this being the only phrase that, for me, conjures up the image of being perched on top of the table. I think bc is right in saying that "I'll put you on the small table" does have a sense of "I'll put your place settings on the small table". Also bearing in mind that among themselves waiters are likely to say: "Peter, tonight I'm putting you on tables 1–6 and I'll take the others".

    not a teacher

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