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  1. Tricky One
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    #1

    Red face Laid vs. Lied

    Ok...have found the general rules that "lay" is for things.."lie" is for people. However, what if it's used in the form of "He "laid/lied" down for a nap? Can only find definitions for laid in reference to "placing something in a horizontal position"....does that apply only to things or people as well?? Cannot figure this one out. Thanks!!

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    lay is a transitive verb; it takes an object. For example,

    Lay the books on the sofa.

    Present: Chickens lay eggs.
    Past: Chickens laid eggs.
    Participle: Chickens had laid eggs . . . .

    lie is an intransitive verb; it doesn't take an object. For example,

    Lie on the sofa.

    Present: Chickens lie in the sun.
    Past: Chickens lay in the sun.
    Participle: Chickens had lain in the sun . . . .

    lay is the past tense of lie. Some speakers, if not more, though, do in fact use laid instead of lay; e.g., "He laid down last night at about 9:00", but it's not considered Standard English or what those who subscribe to traditional grammar rules would consider acceptable English. Nonetheless, that speakers - and I am one - use transitive laid down to mean intransitive lay down is a matter of (a) hyper-correction: as a past tense verb, lay just doesn't sound all that correct, so speakers add -ed to lay to give it that ol' past tense feeling, and (b) semantics: for some speakers, to lay (oneself) down is transitive because it's reflexive; e.g., "He laid (himself) down last night at about 9:00."

    In short, lay, not laid or lied, is the past tense of lie.

    Present: lie
    Past: lay (note, but speakers are using laid.)
    Participle: lain

    Read more here: http://www.ku.edu/~edit/lie.html

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    #3

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    can I say I laid down the book on the table?


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    #4

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    "lay" referring to "put something down" is conjugated:

    lay -Present tense (and so Future: will lay)
    laid - Past tense
    have laid - Present Perfect
    had laid - Past Perfect

    "lie" referring to a person or animal assuming a horizontal position

    lie - Present tense
    lying - as in Present Continuous: "He is lying down"
    lay - Past tense : "He lay down on the bed"
    has lain - Present Perfect
    had lain - Past Perfect

    The part of the problem arises because the Present tense of one meaning happens to be the Past tense of the other.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    Quote Originally Posted by Shosht View Post
    can I say I laid down the book on the table?
    Yes in terms of "laid" but to my ears it will sound a bit more natural if you say you laid the book down instead of you laid down the book.
    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.

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    #6

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    Is this correct-- She laid down to rest at 4 o'clock. Or should it be "she lay"?

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    #7

    Re: Laid vs. Lied

    Based on this thread, what is the simple past of "lie"?
    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.

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