Lie vs Lay

lay down

I have a tendency to confuse lie and lay. It is nice to have a reference when I check all of them in my writing. I hope other writers might find this just as useful as a quick reference.

Lie – To recline
Lay – To put or place

Infinitive Present Past Past Participle Present Participle
Lie to lie lie lay have lain lying
Lay to lay lay laid have laid laying

Infinitive Usage:
To lie or to lay, that is the question.

The Rest:
I lie down. Then, I rose from where I lay. I knew I had lain there, for I was just lying there.

I lay the thing down. I picked it up from where it laid. I looked back to where it had laid, and it was still laying there!

Greta The Grammerian

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6 Responses to Lie vs Lay

  1. LindaGHill says:

    Thank you very much for this! I was just having an argument with myself over this last night while I was lying in bed. 😉

  2. I have to admit I still wouldn’t use lie with confidence. I tend to try and use a different word! God love the English language and all its randomness.

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