How do you translate the expression to set the table in Italian?
In this lesson, we’ll take a look at this very expression, also known as collocation, and we will even talk about what words you can use to describe what’s on a dinner table.
Let’s get started! Iniziamo!
To set the table in Italian
First of all, let’s translate to set the table in Italian.
Apparecchiare la tavola
To set the table
You can also translate it as preparare la tavola, literally “to prepare the table”.
Preparare la tavola
To set the table
To set the table in Italian – Let’s break it down!
Apparecchiare la tavola can literally be translated as to set up the table.
To set up, to prepare (the table)
The verb apparecchiare comes from apparecchio, which means apparatus or device.
Apparecchiare is very specific: you can actually use this verb alone to translate to set the table in Italian.
La mamma apparecchia.
Mom sets the table.
La mamma apparecchia la tavola.
Mom sets the table.
For this purpose, preparare is a more generic verb and cannot be used alone, so you have to say preparare la tavola.
Apparecchiare and preparare
Apparecchiare and preparare are verbs of the first -are group. Their indicativo presente conjugations are as follows.
|lui, lei||apparecchia, prepara|
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You will find preparare in a number of expressions. Some of them are:
Preparare la cena
To make dinner
Preparare le valigie
To pack (one’s suitcases)
Preparare uno spuntino
To prepare a snack
For example, you could say:
Se tu lavi i piatti, io preparo la cena.
If you do the dishes, I’ll make dinner.
Domani partiamo per New York e devo ancora preparare le valigie!
Tomorrow we leave for New York and I still have to pack!
Starai via tutto il giorno? Lascia che ti prepari uno spuntino.
Are you going to be out all day? Let me make you a snack.
We said that the translation for to set the table in Italian is apparecchiare la tavola. Tavola is a feminine noun.
La cena è in tavola!
Dinner is ready!
Literally: Dinner is on the table!
Vorrei prenotare un tavolo da tre, per favore.
I would like to reserve a table for three, please.
What’s the difference between tavola and tavolo?
Tavola usually refers to the table at which you eat. Tavolo usually refers to a specific piece of furniture.
We never say:
preparare il tavolo.
But when you want to reserve a table in a restaurant, you actually say vorrei prenotare un tavolo, I would like to reserve a table. See here for more!
What can you set the table with? Here are some suggestions:
Servono dei piatti più grandi.
Bigger plates are needed.
Questo bicchiere è sporco.
This glass is dirty.
Non posso mangiare la minestra con una forchetta!
I can’t eat soup with a fork!
To set the table in Italian – Examples
La mamma mi ha chiesto di apparecchiare la tavola.
Mom asked me to set the table.
Alan prepara la tavola mentre Sarah cucina.
Alan sets the table for lunch while Sarah cooks.
Apparecchiò la tavola con piatti, bicchieri e posate.
He set the table with plates, glasses and cutlery.
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