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    #1

    in or on a table

    Hi all,

    (1) Can I say "I want to sit in that table" or "I want to sit on that table"?
    (2) When I was in a Casino, I told my friend "Let's play on that table" or "Let's play in that table"?

    Thanks!

    JY

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    #2

    Re: in or on a table

    (1) You can't sit in a table. You can sit on a table, but don't do it in a restaurant. There, you ask to sit at a table.

    (2) In a casino, you play at a table. It could even be correct to say 'Let's play that table' (with no preposition).

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: in or on a table

    I frequently find one of my cats sitting on the table. This can make it a bit gross when we find cat hair when the family goes to sit at the table. (I tell her not to, but she acts like she doesn't understand English.) I saw an interesting table once -- the builder had taken things from the sea - shells, rocks, sea glass, sand - and placed them in a thick block of resin which formed the table's surface. That's the only way I can think of anything being in a physical table.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: in or on a table

    Thanks for your illustration.

    But I do not understand your last sentence. Could you explain? And why had taken is used? Meaning the act of taking things happened before placing them in a resin or before forming the table?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I frequently find one of my cats sitting on the table. This can make it a bit gross when we find cat hair when the family goes to sit at the table. (I tell her not to, but she acts like she doesn't understand English.) I saw an interesting table once -- the builder had taken things from the sea - shells, rocks, sea glass, sand - and placed them in a thick block of resin which formed the table's surface. That's the only way I can think of anything being in a physical table.

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    #5

    Re: in or on a table

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiayun View Post
    (1) Can I say "I want to sit in that table"
    No

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: in or on a table

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiayun View Post
    Thanks for your illustration.

    But I do not understand your last sentence. Could you explain? And why had taken is used? Meaning the act of taking things happened before placing them in a resin or before forming the table?
    Yes. He took those things from the sea. Then he placed them in resin and made the table.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: in or on a table

    Thanks! Could you explain what do you mean by "That's the only way I can think of anything being in a physical table."? Why is it the only way? I mean there are different types of table, e.g. wooden table, steel table, glass table. Why is that the "only way" you can think of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes. He took those things from the sea. Then he placed them in resin and made the table.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: in or on a table

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiayun View Post
    Why is that the "only way" you can think of?
    Because she can't think of another way!

    Barb was suggesting that we can be on or at a table, but not in a table. She came up with one example of how it is possible to be in a table, largely, I suspect, to show that is virtually impossible for people to be in a table. If we set our minds to it, we could probably think of some more in examples, but it's not worth the effort. It's much simpler to say that we don't use in as a preposition with 'table'

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    #9

    Re: in or on a table

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Because she can't think of another way!

    Barb was suggesting that we can be on or at a table, but not in a table. She came up with one example of how it is possible to be in a table, largely, I suspect, to show that is virtually impossible for people to be in a table. If we set our minds to it, we could probably think of some more in examples, but it's not worth the effort. It's much simpler to say that we don't use in as a preposition with 'table'
    But it's not a huge effort, if the table doesn't have to be a piece of furniture. Numbers are often given in a table Ducking and covering


    b

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    #10

    Re: in or on a table

    Bob, I thought of that - that's why I said "physical table" intending to mean "furniture."

    Now that I think of it, in Rocky Horry, I believe that Eddie was IN the table. That was a pretty gross scene though. And I suppose if you took Han Solo after he was in the carbonite, laid it sideways, and put legs on it... in fact, look, someone already did: Google Image Result for http://www.walyou.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Han-Solo-Carbonite-Desk3.jpg

    Jiayun, looking at this picture, can you see what it's impossible for someone to be in a table?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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