"The ball is in the water."
Translation:De bal ligt in het water.
I thought I was getting the hang of zitten, liggen, staan, ... but this one --- I just don't know. I was sure it would be "De bal zit in het water." I could understand, "De tak ligt op het water." But I don't see what makes liggen preferable to zitten for a ball in water or, even assuming it is preferable, why zitten has to be incorrect.
Can anyone help?
Because the ball is floating on top of the water, you'd use "liggen". Actually, everthing that's in the water, uses "liggen" - even if it doesn't float and goes down to the bottom.
Bedankt. Maar een stukje vlees zit in de soep.
Obviously this is just something that will have to be memorized on a case-by-case basis. I was hoping for a rationally predictable system, but it looks like it's just a matter of custom that must be committed to memory in each instance.