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  1. The lake is located across the border between the two cities.
  2. The lake is located astride the border between the two cities.

I am trying to describe a certain lake that has a portion in one city and the remaining portion in the other city. I first created the first sentence but after googled, I am afraid that "across" in the first sentence may be misinterpreted as "on the opposite side of". According to my dictionaries, it seems that "astride" can be used in this case, but "astride" is unfamiliar to me, so I want to use a simpler word like "across" if possible.

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By using a word for a single location, you are missing the nature of what you are trying to express.

Rather than using a preposition, try using a verb:

The lake crosses the border between the two cities.

From Merriam-Webster's definition of the relevant sense of cross:

6 a : to extend across or over : TRAVERSE
// a highway crossing the entire state

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  • You also might consider "The border of the two cities cuts through the lake". – LawrenceC Dec 13 '19 at 16:51
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Neither seems to really fit what you're trying to say, which is "the lake forms the border between two cities". Or "the border between the two cities goes through the lake". Astride is more of a "one foot here, one foot there" meaning.

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I don't think it sounds right. Here's why.

Literally, "astride" means with a leg on each side of. For example, when a person is sitting on a bicycle, they might be said to be astride it, because one leg is on each side.

"Astride" is also used in its wider sense to describe anything that extends across something - for example, a bridge crossing a body of water.

In your example of a lake, as a lake is at ground level (or possibly even below it), it doesn't seem right to say it is astride anything.

Further to that, I don't think it is idiomatic to say the lake is located across the border, either. A location is a specific place, so saying that it has a location across two places seems odd, even if it is gramatically correct.

I would say either:

The lake is located on the border between the two cities.

OR

The lake lies across the border between the two cities.

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  • "across the border" to me feels like "on the other side of the border" (from my current position). Similar to "across the street". – Peter M. - stands for Monica Dec 26 '19 at 19:06

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