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    #1

    Question lying or lay which is correct

    They walked down from City Hall to ground zero. There were cars burning and bodies lying (lay) on the street.

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    #2

    Re: lying or lay which is correct

    What do you think and why?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: lying or lay which is correct

    Quote Originally Posted by BJoeR View Post
    They walked down from City Hall to ground zero. There were cars burning and bodies lying (lay) on the street.
    It depends on whether "There were" is meant to carry over. The following are all correct:
    There were cars burning and [there were] bodies lying on the street.
    There were cars burning and [there were] bodies laid on the street. (Somebody had laid them there)
    There were cars burning, and bodies lay on the street. (past tense of "Bodies lie on the street).

    to lie (vi): lie, lay, lain, lying
    to lay (vt): lay, laid, laid, laying

    However, it's quite possible that many New Yorkers use "lay" for "lie", which is based on a common mistake.

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    #4

    Re: lying or lay which is correct

    Quote Originally Posted by BJoeR View Post
    They walked down from City Hall to ground zero. There were cars burning and bodies lying (lay) on the street.

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


    (1) I believe that both sentences are grammatically correct.

    (2) Teachers tell us to forget "there" when we analyze a "there" sentence.

    (3) So I think we have a choice:

    (A) Cars were burning and bodies were lying in the street.

    (B) Cars were burning, and bodies lay in the street.

    (4) Do you notice that (A) has two -ing forms, and

    (B) has one -ing form and one past form?

    (5) I think that writing teachers tell us learners to maintain parallelism in

    our sentences. That is, balance.

    (6) In your opinion, which combination sounds more balanced and more

    pleasant to the ears? were burning and were lying / were burning and

    lay.

    (7) In my opinion, sentence (A) is more balanced. (I am not saying that I

    am right.)

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