usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

The Problems That “Lay” With “Lie”


I’m back from vacation, where I spent a great deal of time relaxing and catching up on my sleep. So, I figure an entry related to sleep is in order.

People misuse “lay” and “lie” all the time, in their speech and in their writing. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Lay is an action word: I will lay  the book on the table. The prosecutor laid all the blame on the defendant. Watch the sheriff as he lays down the law.

Maybe this is where people get confused: “Lay” also is the past tense of lie, which refers to a state of reclining along a horizontal plane. Thus,  He lay on the beach all day. NOTE: He laid on the beach all day also is correct.

Other forms of lie: I lie on his bench because I am homeless (present tense); She is lying down on the bed (present participle).

Here’s another place people might feel confused: “Lie” also means to make an untrue statement. When using “lie” in that sense, the forms are I/you/we lie, he/she/it lies, he/she/it /we lied, everybody’s lying.

This entry tired me out. I think I will go lay my head on my pillow as I lie on my bed.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

Advertisements

August 16, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: