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  1. #1
    jimm is offline Newbie
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    Default lay/laid/lie/lied

    Which usage is correct for this sentence: "I was confused about where the right path lay/laid/lie/lied."?

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Lay. This has been discussed many many times here; try a few searches.

    b

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Quote Originally Posted by jimm View Post
    Which usage is correct for this sentence: "I was confused about where the right path lay/laid/lie/lied."?
    "I was confused about where the right path lay."
    This is a universally accepted right answer.
    "Where does the path lie? I wondered about where the path lay."
    "I wonder where the path lies. It had lain here - where does it now lie?"

    The verb is lie (eg. to lie down) - intransitive: lie / lay / lain.
    The other verb lie (to tell a mistruth) is: lie / lied / lied.
    The verb lay, transitive (to lay something down) is: lay / laid / laid

    However, many Americans (and some others) use the transitive verb 'to lay' for the intransitive verb 'to lie', as in "I'm going to go lay down." This would be marked wrong in an Australian school. But if you live in a region where 'lay' is used like this, then I guess "paths lay" too.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Quote Originally Posted by jimm View Post
    Which usage is correct for this sentence: "I was confused about where the right path lay/laid/lie/lied."?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER / ONLY MY OPINION


    Jimm,

    Three verbs confuse many of us:

    (1) To lie (not tell truth) / lied/ have lied/ am lying.

    (2) To lie (on your back, etc.) lay/ has lain/ is lying.

    (3) To lay (put [something]) laid/ has laid/ was laying.

    As you know, the best thing is to eliminate the answers that

    are not possible.

    ... where the right path ___

    (a) Not No. l "lie" because paths cannot tell lies!!!

    (b) Not No. 3 "lay" because nobody is "putting something."

    Therefore, the "right" answer (out of your four answers) is

    No. 2 "lie." And since it is the past, you need lay.

    By the way, can you give the correct answer to this:

    Everybody wants to know where the right path in life

    ____. (Use the present tense)

    Yes, you are correct: lies. (As you know, the third person -- he, she, it

    (such as a "path") -- takes the "s" in the present tense, but not in

    questions and the negative:

    Does the right path lie in being good?

    The right path does not lie in being bad.)


    Thank you

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "I was confused about where the right path lay."
    This is a universally accepted right answer.
    "Where does the path lie? I wondered about where the path lay."
    "I wonder where the path lies. It had lain here - where does it now lie?"

    The verb is lie (eg. to lie down) - intransitive: lie / lay / lain.
    The other verb lie (to tell a mistruth) is: lie / lied / lied.
    The verb lay, transitive (to lay something down) is: lay / laid / laid

    However, many Americans (and some others) use the transitive verb 'to lay' for the intransitive verb 'to lie', as in "I'm going to go lay down." This would be marked wrong in an Australian school. But if you live in a region where 'lay' is used like this, then I guess "paths lay" too.
    Ray, I'm confused by your answer. Lay is the past of lie. It is hard to tell where it lies. It was hard to tell where it lay.

    What is wrong with that latter?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Ray, I'm confused by your answer. Lay is the past of lie. It is hard to tell where it lies. It was hard to tell where it lay.

    What is wrong with that latter?
    Nothing. That's why I said it was right.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    I inferred from the way you phrased your answer that only if you live somewhere that people say "I'm going to lay down" would that answer be right.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: lay/laid/lie/lied

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I inferred from the way you phrased your answer that only if you live somewhere that people say "I'm going to lay down" would that answer be right.
    Sorry, but I don't understand that. I'll clarify. My first two lines are:
    "I was confused about where the right path lay."
    This is a universally accepted right answer.
    The first line was meant to be my answer, giving the correct form. The second is my assertion that the answer in the first line is correct.
    That is, "lay" is the correct choice, as indicated in other ways by other posters.
    The next two lines are more examples of the correct use.
    I then gave the three verbs that can cause confusion.
    The last three lines, beginning "However, many Americans (and some others)..." deal with the variant.

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