With reference to the scene depicted in the picture below, is it correct to say that the chair is under the table?

enter image description here

I'm unsure because:

  • not all the chair is directly down from the table;

  • a part of it is off to one side;

  • a part of it is higher than the table.

  • It seems "The chair is under the Table" seems correct. However, using "by" should be accurate IMHO.
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 15:05
  • 1
    @Mistu4u Actually, no. A chair "by" a table is "out from under" the table. For locational purposes, the back of a chair is irrelevant--it's where the seat is that matters. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


While it is not 100% technically accurate, it is nevertheless common usage to refer to the chair as "under the table" in that case.

When you place the chair in the pictured position, that action is called "pushing the chair in"; which means you can also refer to the chair as being "pushed in", as in "the chair was pushed in so you couldn't see the stains on the seat."

Also, when you remove it from that position, you are "pulling the chair out" (usually in preparation for sitting on it).

  • 1
    I agree: the chair is "pushed in." I think that's the best way to express it.
    – J.R.
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 18:31

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