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So, how do you say "on" in Latin, as in "The book is on the table.". Would you say "Liber super mensa est."? I have a feeling that would imply that the book is hovering above the table, rather than that it is directly on the table. Or would you simply say "Liber mensa est."? Wouldn't that mean that the book is inside a drawer in the table?

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My first instinct was to use Liber in mēnsā est.

In fact, there are several sentences of this exact form in Hans Ørberg's introductory Latin reader, Lingua Latina per se illustrata, capitulum quartum:

Dāvus sacculum suum in mēnsā ponit. Iam sacculus eius in mēnsā est.

I can't find a sentence of this exact form in the PHI Latin texts corpus, but there are 19 examples of in mēnsā (often in combination with a form of pōnere).

Here is an example describing a book on a table:

Cum inter suos convivaretur, aut Ulpianum aut doctos homines adhibebat, ut haberet fabulas litteratas, quibus se recreari dicebat et pasci. Habebat, cum privatim convivaretur, et librum in mensa et legebat, sed Graece magis; Latinos autem poetas lectitabat.

(Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Alexander Severus Aeli Lampridii 34.7.2)

Obviously, you would not be able to read from a book inside of a drawer.

Super mēnsā doesn't have any hits in the PHI corpus. I agree it doesn't seem like a good choice, although I'm not sure if it would suggest a book "hovering above the table". Super + ablative, according to Lewis and Short, is rarely used to refer to literal physical position.

Super mēnsam might be possible. It occurs in what seems like a relevant context in the following sentence by Petronius:

inter haec tres pueri candidas succincti tunicas intraverunt, quorum duo Lares bullatos super mensam posuerunt, unus pateram vini circumferens 'dii propitii' clamabat . . .

(Petronius, Satyrica 60.8.2)

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