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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Red face "to lie" and "to lay"

    I would like to know if this story is written right....I have to show someone the difference between "to lie" and "to lay" (incl. "to lie" as in "not telling the truth") in a story :

    The man laid the newspaper on the table. He thought about the lies he told his friends and decided to lie down on the couch. After he lay down he remembered that he didn’t lay the newspaper where he should have laid it. His wife might get mad when she figures out he had been lying on the couch all afternoon, thinking about how he lied to his friends…beside that he had laid the newspaper in the wrong place. He could lie about this too but decided he had lied enough. Maybe he should just ask her why he couldn’t lay himself down on the couch for a little nap but he knew the answer to that; she would just tell him he had lain enough on the couch lately. Actually...she should not complain; he had been laying carpet all day, so he had a good reason to lie down.

  2. #2
    frieda is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Re: "to lie" and "to lay"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I would like to know if this story is written right....I have to show someone the difference between "to lie" and "to lay" (incl. "to lie" as in "not telling the truth") in a story :

    The man laid the newspaper on the table. He thought about the lies he told his friends and decided to lie down on the couch. After he lay down he remembered that he didn’t lay the newspaper where he should have laid it. His wife might get mad when she figures out he had been lying on the couch all afternoon, thinking about how he lied to his friends…beside that he had laid the newspaper in the wrong place. He could lie about this too but decided he had lied enough. Maybe he should just ask her why he couldn’t lay himself down on the couch for a little nap but he knew the answer to that; she would just tell him he had lain enough on the couch lately. Actually...she should not complain; he had been laying carpet all day, so he had a good reason to lie down.
    I think it's a good story. I couldn't find any mistakes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "to lie" and "to lay"

    Hi,
    It's a nice story; thanks, unregistered. Lie and lay are commonly confused even by native speakers: Lay, lady, lay.

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "to lie" and "to lay"

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    It's a nice story; thanks, unregistered. Lie and lay are commonly confused even by native speakers: Lay, lady, lay.
    The confusion, Humble comes from the commentators who don't realize how people actually use these words in English today.


    M-W

    lay

    usage LAY has been used intransitively in the sense of "lie" since the 14th century. The practice was unremarked until around 1770; attempts to correct it have been a fixture of schoolbooks ever since. Generations of teachers and critics have succeeded in taming most literary and learned writing, but intransitive lay persists in familiar speech and is a bit more common in general prose than one might suspect.

    Much of the problem lies in the confusing similarity of the principal parts of the two words. Another influence may be a folk belief that lie is for people and lay is for things. Some commentators are ready to abandon the distinction, suggesting that lay is on the rise socially. But if it does rise to respectability, it is sure to do so slowly: many people have invested effort in learning to keep lie and lay distinct. Remember that even though many people do use lay for lie, others will judge you unfavorably if you do.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "to lie" and "to lay"

    [quote=riverkid;156767]The confusion, Humble comes from the commentators who don't realize how people actually use these words in English today.[/quote]
    A nice way to pinpoint, Riverkid. I am not ashamed to confess my English is poor enough - I've been learning to swim in a desert. That's why I visit the forum.
    The M-W quotation seems to suggest it's safer to use lay as transitive and lie as intransitive, doesn't it? At least in exam papers.

  6. #6
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: "to lie" and "to lay"

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    [quote=riverkid;156767]The confusion, Humble comes from the commentators who don't realize how people actually use these words in English today.

    A nice way to pinpoint, Riverkid. I am not ashamed to confess my English is poor enough - I've been learning to swim in a desert. That's why I visit the forum.
    The M-W quotation seems to suggest it's safer to use lay as transitive and lie as intransitive, doesn't it? At least in exam papers.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not suggesting that your English is poor, Humble. In fact I've been quite impressed by your English acumen over the months. And I was not suggesting that you're at fault for advancing a debate that was hardly your invention.

    The distinctions are much more complicated than has been described and these black and white rules are really a disservice to all language learners.

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