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The solid rod is located in the hollow tube.

I am trying to rewrite this such that the hollow tube is the subject. My example is as follow:

The hollow tube is located outside the solid rod.

I am not sure that this sounds natural because the rod has no space inside.

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    Without some technical data, I think it is best that you don't use the second example. While in/inside is finite, outside is not. Since most everything is "outside the solid rod", it isn't descriptive at all. Maybe surrounds or covers?
    – user3169
    Aug 2 '17 at 5:54
  • I agree with @user3169 that outside is a poor choice of word here. Depending on the exact situation, you could say that the tube surrounds/fits around/encloses/encases/holds the rod. Aug 2 '17 at 6:05
  • Thank for letting me a lot of alternative expressions. I will use "surround" or "enclose" in this case.
    – rama9
    Aug 2 '17 at 10:10
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In this case, outside does not convey what you are trying to say. Outside here means that it is not inside. It could be anywhere outside: across the room, across the country, etc. Something like

The hollow tube holds the solid rod.

which would indicate that the rod is stored inside the tube, or

The hollow tube contains the solid rod.

which would indicate that the rod is inside the tube.

Your use of "located" is offputting to me - for your first sentence, I would usually say

The solid rod is inside the hollow tube.

in casual speech. However, if this is from technical documentation (it sounds like it is) I would keep it the way you have it.

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