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My English teacher asked a quiz question:

The dancing club ___ north of this district

a. lays

b. lies

c. locates

d. lain

The answer was given as c. locates. I feel something is wrong with this answer, because I usually read sentences like "[Something] is located in/at [somewhere]", so I think locate should be used in passive form. In my opinion, lies may be able to be put here, or lays if in were added.

Please clarify what the correct answer is.

  • 17
    Get another teacher. – RegDwigнt Jul 23 '12 at 15:32
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    Also, it’s “dance club”, not “*dancing club”, which further supports @RegDwightАΑA’s position on the matter. – tchrist Jul 23 '12 at 15:36
  • I suppose it's possible that the teacher has made a simple mistake and written "C" instead of "B" (or mixed up the order of the answers since preparing the questions). But that shouldn't happen. – Andrew Leach Jul 23 '12 at 15:43
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    There are so many problems with your teacher's question that I'd even bet the club in question is actually south of the district. – J.R. Jul 23 '12 at 15:48
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    Lies is not wrong; lies is correct. The others are all incorrect. – John Lawler Jul 23 '12 at 16:26
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If your instructor believes that locates is the correct answer, they are mistaken. You have to say either is located or lies, with the first perhaps the more commonly heard.

The other possibilities you list are wrong: lays is the wrong verb altogether, and lain is a past participle without any auxiliary. And as you observe, locates makes no sense by itself.

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