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Assuming that there is a tube and a rod to be inserted in the tube. The tube has a projection projecting from its inside wall. When the rod is inserted in the tube to some extent, the projection touches the rod to prevent it from being inserted anymore. Thus, the rod is placed in correct position. Is it possible to describe this case as follows:

The projection positions the rod inside the pipe.

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  • Not without more context. I mean, the one sentence is not enough to know what's going on precisely. Anyway, I'm more concerned about your use of "projection", which I'm not sure means what you think it means.
    – Mr Lister
    Aug 31 '17 at 8:49
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This sense of position as a verb means "to place or guide into position". Thus, this projection (whatever it is) causes the rod to be in the correct or intended position within the pipe.

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It means that the projection places or guides the rod into (correct/good) position.

Note that determine can mean cause or discover. So your question is not clear, but the context you provide makes it clear.

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