La Mesa – Table Setting Vocabulary

¡A la mesa!

¡A la mesa! Literally means ‘To the table‘ which is used when you want someone/everyone to come to the table for lunch or dinner:

  • Está lista … ¡a la mesa! = It’s ready … come to the table!

Table Setting Items in Spanish

There are items that are generally on the table when you have breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Here is a list of the common items of a basic table setting in Spanish:

  • la copa = wine glass with a stem (more information below)
  • la cuchara = spoon
  • la cucharita = teaspoon (sometimes called a cuchara de té or cucharilla)
  • el cuchillo = knife
  • el individual = placemat
  • el mantel = tablecloth
  • el platillo = saucer / small plate (more information below)
  • el plato = plate
  • el plato de sopa / hondo = soup bowl (more information below)
  • la servilleta = napkin
  • la taza = cup
  • el tenedor = fork
  • el vaso = glass

There are more items that can be added to this list though these are the essential words you need to know.

Table Setting in Spanish - Names of items on a table in Spanish - Learn Spanish Vocabulary

More Spanish Vocabulary

La copa is a glass that has a stem to hold and a roundish foot or base. Only the top half (or part) above the stem holds the liquid.

  • vaso de agua = glass of water
  • copa de vino = glass of wine

With la taza (cup) you can also specify what the cup is used for:

  • una taza de café = a coffee cup / a cup of coffee
  • una taza de té = a teacup / a cup of tea

Here is an example sentence:

  • Tomar una taza de té a las cinco de la tarde es una típica tradición inglesa.
    Having a cup of tea at five in the afternoon is a typical English tradition.

Los platos – The plates and dishes

  • los platos = the plates
  • lavar los platos = to wash the plates / to wash the dishes

El plato is the typical flat dinner plate upon which the main meal is served.

El platillo is a small plate.

  • el platillo = a saucer / small plate

Platillo can be used to mean the saucer under a cup but it can also mean a small plate in general, for example one for putting bread on. When referring to tea, sometimes the plate is simply called el plato de té.

El plato hondo / plato de sopa is literally a deep plate. This is a type of dish / bowl with a wide rim and “deep” center used for soup or eating cereal.
Sometimes el pocillo is used for bowl though this is more the round dish without a rim.
In some countries you may also hear the word el cuenco used as the Spanish word for bowl.

Another bowl I would like to mention is la ensaladera which is specifically the salad bowl. La ensaladera is a bigger (often wooden) bowl that sits in the middle of the table.

If la ensaladera which is used for la ensalada (salad), then how would you say fruit bowl in Spanish?

  • la ensalada = the salad
  • la ensaladera = the salad bowl
  • la fruta = the fruit
  • la frutera = the fruit bowl

If you are having tea or coffee at the table, then there may be a azucarero on the table.

  • el azúcar = the sugar
  • el azucarero = the sugar bowl

Plato can also mean dish as in a cooked dish.

  • Degustarás todos los platos durante el almuerzo.
    (You will taste all the dishes during lunch.)

Los Cubiertos

Los cubiertos refers to the collective name of el cuchillo, el tenedor and la cuchara considered together.
el cuchillo + el tenedor + la cuchara + la cucharita = los cubiertos.

NOTE: To refer to a teaspoon of an ingredient when cooking, cucharadita is used.

  • Agrega una cucharadita de azúcar.

Nombres de los cubiertos en español - Names of cutlery in Spanish - Learn Spanish Vocabulary

Set the table in Spanish

poner la mesa = to set the table
desocupar la mesa = to clear the table

In Argentina: Leventar la mesa is used instead of desocupar la mesa.

And where is the mesa? It’s in el comedor (dining room).

Poner la mesa - Desocupar la mesa - How to say SET THE TABLE in Spanish

I hope you found this lesson about table settings in Spanish useful. If you did, please let other people know about our Woodward Spanish.

Lesson tags: Casa, Comedor, Comer, Vocabulario, Vocabulary
Back to: Spanish Course > Spanish Nouns and Articles

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