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Thread: lie and lay

  1. #1
    gauri_agr is offline Member
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    Default lie and lay

    Hi ,

    The meaning of these words are same but why don't then I use these word interchangeably as below

    1. lie down on you back( I never say "lay down on your back")
    2. lay your book on the table( I never say "lie down your book on the table")

    Please explain me the difference between lie and lay for usage sense.

    thanks,
    Gauri

  2. #2
    Mehrgan's Avatar
    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lie and lay

    Quote Originally Posted by gauri_agr View Post
    Hi ,

    The meaning of these words are same but why don't then I use these word interchangeably as below

    1. lie down on you back( I never say "lay down on your back")
    2. lay your book on the table( I never say "lie down your book on the table")

    Please explain me the difference between lie and lay for usage sense.

    thanks,
    Gauri
    ***not a teacher***
    One thing you should pay attention to is wether your verb is Transitive or Intransitive. Transitive would mean that your verb needs an object, just as the verb lay does. After lay you'll need an object, so you lay something on something else. While after lie you don't need an object. You lie on your back, but you can't lie something on the bed!

    The past form of lie, however, is lay. So try not to mix them up.

    PS: In your dictionary you'll find i for intransitive verbs, and t for transitive ones.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: lie and lay

    Quote Originally Posted by gauri_agr View Post
    Hi ,

    The meaning of these words are same but why don't then I use these word interchangeably as below

    1. lie down on you back( I never say "lay down on your back")
    2. lay your book on the table( I never say "lie down your book on the table")

    Please explain me the difference between lie and lay for usage sense.

    thanks,
    Gauri

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) Mehrgan has given you an excellent answer.

    (2) I respectfully suggest that you type "lie lay" in the search

    box at this website. You will find MANY helpful articles on this

    subject.

    (3) Many native speakers here in the U.S. are also confused

    by these three verbs:

    To lie (not to tell the truth)

    To lie (to be on your back)

    To lay (to put something somewhere)

    (4) I quite often hear educated people (even news readers on TV

    news shows) say something like:

    The injured man was laying in the street.

    Whenever I hear that, I want to ask: What was he laying?

    (As you know, the correct word is "lying.")

    (5) Congratulations on wanting to speak and write correct

    English.

  4. #4
    gauri_agr is offline Member
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    Default Re: lie and lay

    TheParser and Mehrgan, thanks so much . This is a great information.

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