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Thread: Lay vs. lie

  1. #1
    CharlieDarling is offline Newbie
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    Default Lay vs. lie

    Could someone please explain the difference between the verbs lay (laid, laid) and lie (lay, lain). I don't know how to use them correctly.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lay vs. lie

    Hi Charlie,
    A lot of people, even native speakers, get these confused.

    To lay - a transitive verb. You have to lay something. The chicked laid an egg, go lay your coat on the chair over there, the mason is laying tile.

    To lie - an intranstive verb, what the person does herself. I am goig to go lie down for a bit. I lay on the couch all day watching terrible movies. I was just lying under the tree, watching the clouds.

    The confusion comes because "lay" appears as a form of both verbs.

    It's the same with "to set" and "to sit" - the first is transitive. Set your keys on the counter, I had to set the box down because it was too heavy. If you can keep the difference between sit and set in your mind, and then think that lie is like sit, and lay is like set (keep the i's together), it may help.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 30-Jul-2008 at 16:39.

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    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Lay vs. lie

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieDarling View Post
    Could someone please explain the difference between the verbs lay (laid, laid) and lie (lay, lain). I don't know how to use them correctly.
    'To lay' is a transitive verb, it needs an object to complete the meaning.
    e.g. He laid the child on the bed.

    'To lie' is an intransitive verb. It cannot be followed by an object.
    e.g. He lay on the bed.

  4. #4
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Lay vs. lie

    It looks I got in second.

    Another pair:

    Rise (intr) - raise (tr)

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    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Lay vs. lie

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieDarling View Post
    Could someone please explain the difference between the verbs lay (laid, laid) and lie (lay, lain). I don't know how to use them correctly.
    First of all they are different in meaning. The verb to lay is a synonym of the verb to put. The only problem is that the first form of the verb to lay and the second form of the verb to lie is the same. While using these forms you shouldn't mix them. You can even use both in one sentence.
    e.g. At first he laid the table and then lay on the sofa to have a short rest.

  6. #6
    dodonaomik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lay vs. lie

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieDarling View Post
    Could someone please explain the difference between the verbs lay (laid, laid) and lie (lay, lain). I don't know how to use them correctly.
    I ever told them that they must remember the followings .

    1 (=cheat others verbally) lie lied lied lying


    2 ( =sleep) lie lay lain lying


    3 ( =put) lay laid laid laying


    May it is helpful!
    Last edited by dodonaomik; 30-Jul-2008 at 17:34.

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