Saturday, April 13, 2013

LAY or LIE ??

(taken from original posting in March 2013)



After scavenging through many websites, I found a very concise explanation from -

"Lay" is a verb meaning to put or place something somewhere.It takes a direct object. Its principal parts are "lay," "laid," "laid," and "laying."

Examples: Every day I lay the book on the table. Yesterday I laid the book on the table. I have laid the book on the table many times.I am laying the book on the table right now.

In all these examples, the verb is a form of the word "lay," and the direct object is "book."

"Lie" is, in this context, a verb meaning to recline. It does not take an object. Its principal parts are "lie," "lay," "lain," and "lying."

Examples: Every night I lie down. I lay down last night. I have lain down many times. I am lying down right now.

If you're in doubt about whether to use "lay" or "lie," try substituting a form of the verb "place." If it makes sense, use a form of "lay."


  1. I've always stumbled over this a bit, but the good news is that I can usually catch myself when I get it wrong. This is one of the biggest errors I hear daily.

  2. I've always had a problem with these. Same with affect and effect. Bookmarking!

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I have trouble with this one. Microsoft Word always corrects it for me.

  4. Lay always gets me. I'll have to remember your advice to use place to see if the sentence makes sense. Thanks.

  5. Hi, I'm visiting from A to Z challenge. I'm doing grammar as well and did Lie vs. Lay today-I even used the dog picture. I like the hint about substituting place. Now to see if we've used similar topics thus far:D

    Nice to meet you.

  6. My parents always use lay, and it drives me nuts!!

  7. No wonder people find English difficult to learn! Thanks for this - I have to look it up every time, but now I'll just refer back to your post!

  8. I hate this rule so much that I will rewrite sentences to avoid using it!

  9. I'm like Aimee. I'll almost always choose another word just to avoid this grammar pitfall. I hate it that much. :P

  10. That word always causes me a headache in my writing.

  11. This is a great lesson for a word that does confuse a lot of people!

  12. Excellent descriptions and topic. I love the cartoon. Perfect.

    Thanks for visiting me as it helped me to find you. I am a new follower.
    AtoZ #41

  13. Well shoot. As I read your post, I knew this was one grammar rule I have no problem with... until I came to the cartoon. I'm always telling my dog to lay down!!!! ;p