Which verb should be used in the following sentence.

Our ears (lie/sit) on either side of our head.

  • Is this a test question? Can you rephrase it? – Mari-Lou A Aug 6 '18 at 10:29
  • Mine are "stuck on". – WS2 Aug 6 '18 at 10:30
  • The ear sits on a pillow. The ear lies when you listen to certain political commentators. – Hot Licks Aug 6 '18 at 11:36
  • It was a question in my little sister's assignment. The instruction is to fill the blank with an appropriate verb. The sentence is 'Our ears _____ on either side of our head'. – Awaisttariq Ahmad Aug 6 '18 at 12:12

As of the time of this answer, the question is very unspecific. In my opinion, both phrases would be okay. Let's check some phrases via Google Ngrams:

ear phrases


Blue: ears lie

Orange: ears are located

Red: ears sit

Green: ears are situated

ears lie is a clear favorite according to Google Ngrams, but this might be ambiguous because of the missing context.

Personally, I think sit does not fit the image, because sitting is usually thought of as something on top or inside of something else, while lie is more general. Therefore, in my opinion, the ears are located (...) is a much more general and less awkward, albeit more technical, alternative.

Edit: Side note. On the Wikipedia page for the ear, the (emphasis mine) "ears of vertebrates are placed somewhat symmetrically on either side of the head (...)". This is also a very general formulation. But: "The inner ear sits in the bony labyrinth, and contains structures which are key to several senses". Here, sit is used to say that the inner ear is inside of something.

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