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Lie or Lay?

Lie (regular, intransitive)


The first one above is easy. In the sense "to tell a lie, say something that is
not true", lie is a regular verb and has no direct object. The past tense is
always -ed. Look at these eamples!
"ome people lie about their age.
#ohn lies about everything.
"I$m forty-nine," he lied.
%e have all lied a few times in our lives.
That$s not true& 'ou$re lying&
Lie (irregular, intransitive)
(ow we come to the irregular lie, meaning "to be in, or to take, a
horizontal/resting position". This is what we do on a bed, for eample.
%e lie on our bed when we sleep.
The important thing to remember with lie is that it is intransitive, so there
is no direct object. Look at this eamples. 'ou see there is no direct
object.
to lie to lie to lay
basic
meaning
to tell a lie, an
untruth
to recline; to be in or to take
a horizontal/resting position
to put something
down in a horizontal
position
regular? regular
lie, lied, lied
irregular
lie, lay, lain
irregular
lie, laid, laid
transitive?
direct object?
intransitive
(no direct
object)
intransitive
(no direct object)
transitive
(must have direct
object)
3rd person s lies lies lays
present
participle
lying lying laying
past tense lied lay laid
past participle lied lain laid
Something lies (somewhere)
subject verb
)y dog lies on this mat.
)ary is lying on the sofa.
'ou also need to remember that the past tense of this lie is "lay", which is
the same as the present tense of to lay. Look at this table of conjugation!
present past present per!ect
I lie lay* have lain
you lie lay* have lain
he, she, it lies lay has lain
we lie lay* have lain
you lie lay* have lain
they lie lay* have lain
*This is the same as the present tense of to lay.
Look at these eample sentences!
I feel sick. I want to lie on the bed.
+sually I lie on the sofa and watch T,.
)y dog always lies on this mat.
-e loves this mat. 'esterday, he lay here all day.
"he has lain in bed since she got ill.
.fter the aircrash, wreckage was lying all over the place.
"ypical mistake
I always lay on a bench to do this eercise. /should be lie0
TIP
Lie is something that we do to ourselves. Lay is something that we do to
other people or things.
I lie on the sofa when I$m tired.
)ary lays the baby in its crib when it cries.
Lay (irregular, transitive)
The main meaning of the verb lay is "to put (something) down in a
horizontal position".
The important thing to remember with lay is that it is transitive, so it
)+"T have a direct object. 'ou cannot just lay. 'ou have to
lay something. Look at these eamples. 'ou see they all have direct
objects.
Something lays something (somewhere)
subject verb direct object
1hickens lay eggs.
2ur chickens lay their eggs on the ground.
The nurses laid the wounded man on the bed.
-ere is a table of conjugation!
present past present per!ect
I lay laid have laid
you lay laid have laid
he, she, it lays laid has laid
we lay laid have laid
you lay laid have laid
they lay laid have laid
-ere are some eample sentences!
The policeman told him to lay his gun on the ground.
The police usually lay a sheet over dead bodies.
This chicken lays three eggs every day.
-e opened the books and laid them on the desk.
I have laid the carpet. 'ou can walk on it now.
The phone rang just as she was laying the new clothes on the bed.
Lay / Lie / Lie
rregular !erb
"#$%&"!'
(needs an object)
rregular !erb
%"#$%&"!'
(no object)
#egular !erb
%"#$%&"!'
(no object)
(to put something down)
lay - laid - laid - laying
(to recline on a bed,
etc.)
lie - lay - lain -lying
(to tell a lie)
lie - lied - lied - lying
(aris must lay everything on the table
)or dinner*
(aris laid a )ork on the table*
%ow she+s laying a napkin there*
,on likes to lie on the
so)a*
-e+s lying on the so)a
now*
-e+s lain there )or an
hour*
.at lies to her mom*
&he is lying to her mom now*
&he+s lied to her mom many
times*
Lie is an intransitive verb (one that does not take an object), meaning "to recline." Its
principal parts are lie (base form), lay (past tense), lain (past participal), and lying (present
participle).
Lie meaning "to tell an untruth" uses lied for both the past tense and past participle,
with lying as the present participle.!
Lay is a transitive verb (one that takes an object), meaning "to put" or "to place." Its
principal parts are lay (base form), laid (past tense), laid (past participle), and laying (present
participle).
"he two words have different meanings and are not interchangeable. #lthough lay also
serves as the past tense of lie (to recline) $ as in, "%e lay down for a nap an hour ago"
$ lay (or laying) may not otherwise be used to denote reclining. It is not correct to say or
write, "I will lay down for nap" or "%e is laying down for a nap." "he misuse
of lay or laying in the sense of "to recline" (which re&uires lie or lying) is the most common
error involving the confusion of these two words.
' (nce you lay (put or place) a book on the desk, it is lying (reclining, resting) there, not
laying there.
' )hen you go to *ermuda for your vacation, you spend your time lying (not laying) on the
beach (unless, of course, you are engaged in se+ual activity and are, in the vernacular,
laying someone on the beach).
' ,ou lie down on the sofa to watch "- and spend the entire evening lying there. you do not
lay down on the sofa to watch "- and spend the entire evening laying there.
' If you see something lying on the ground, it is just resting there. if you see something
laying on the ground, it must be doing something else, such as laying eggs.
/ie vs. /ay 0hart
1resent 1ast 1ast 1articiple
(used with helping
verbs such as have)
"o recline lie, lying lay has/have/had lain
"o put or place lay, laying laid has/have/had laid something
"o tell a )alsehood lie, lying lied has/have/had lied
'/ample o) to recline in present tense0 lie down )or a nap at two o1clock every day*
&ame e/ample as above in past tense0 lay down yesterday )or a nap*
&ame e/ample as above with a participle0 have lain down every day this week*
'/ample o) to put or place something in present tense0 lay the book down*
&ame e/ample as above in past tense0 laid the book down*
&ame e/ample as above with a participle0 have laid the book down*
'/ample o) to tell a falsehood in present tense0 am tempted to lie about my weight*
&ame e/ample as above in past tense0 lied about my weight when renewed my driver1s
license*
&ame e/ample as above with a participle0 have lied about my weight each time have
renewed my driver1s license*