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Zài indicates where things are.

那本书在哪儿?那本书在桌子上。Nà běn shū zài nǎr? Nà běn shū zài zhuōzi shang.
'Where’s the book? It is on the table.'

我的笔在哪儿?在桌子上的盒子里。Wǒ de bǐ zài nǎr? Zài zhuōzi shang de hézi li.
Where’s my pen? It’s in the box on the table.'

Note that shang 'on' and li 'in' have no tone in the above two examples.

狗在哪儿?它在桌子下边睡觉。 Gǒu zài nǎr? Tā zài zhuōzi xiàbian shuìjiào.
'Where’s the dog? He’s asleep under the table.”

In the last example zài indicates where the main action 睡觉 shuìjiào 'sleep' is happening. The word "coverb" is sometimes used to describe this sort of a cross between a verb and a preposition.

The following sentences also all work:

You can omit 边 bian:
它在桌子下边睡觉。 Tā zài zhuōzi xia shuìjiào.

The shortest one is:
在桌下睡觉。 Zài zhuōxià shuìjiào.

And the longest answer is:
它正在桌子的下边睡觉。 Tā zhèng zài zhuōzi de xiàbian shuìjiào.