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dictionary has  dresser la table, mettre la table, and mettre le couvert.  are all three used?  merci d'avance

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2 and 3 yes. Not sure about 1. 

It sounds a bit  formal to me.

The first one is a bit formal in every day conversation. we say usually "mettre la table" .

"dresser la table" is used in restaurant or in books to explain how to set the table.

perfect clarification.  i was going to use "dresser" but now i won't.  

You might use it, it's charming (delightful ?). it's not odd. Just we would think "tu parles très bien".

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