Lay or Lie

by admin on October 15, 2011

lay or lieWhen to use “Lay” versus “Lie”: difference between lay and lie

Lay means “to place something down.” It is something you do to something else. It is a transitive verb.

Incorrect: Lie the book on the seat.

Correct: Lay the book on the seat.

(It is being done to something else.)

Lie means “to recline” or “be placed.” It does not act on anything or anyone else. It is an intransitive verb.

Incorrect: Lay down on the bed.

Correct: Lie down on the bed.

(It is not being done to anything else.)

The reason lay and lie are confusing is their past tenses.

The past tense of lay is laid.

The past tense of lie is lay.

Incorrect: I lay it down here yesterday.

Correct: I laid it down here yesterday.

(It is being done to something else.)

Incorrect: Last night I laid awake in bed.

Correct: Last night I lay awake in bed.

(It is not being done to anything else.)

The past participle of lie is lain. The past participle of lay is like the past tense, laid.

Examples: I could have lain in bed all day.

They have laid an average of 500 feet of pipeline a day.

Layed is a misspelling and does not exist. Use laid.

No related posts.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: