Lie, Lie and Lay

Posted by Jaochainoi 7 | 10:57 AM

Lie, Lie and Lay


Learning three forms of a verb is challenging even for a native speaker, let alone words that look and sound similar. We often get to lie and to lay mixed up with each other because the past form of the verb to lie is 'lay' which is the same as the base form of the verb to lay.

    
      To lie means to put your body in a flat or a resting position. The past form (Verb 2) is lay and past participle (Verb 3) is lain. It is an intransitive verb. An intransitive verb doesn't need an object.


For example:
Tom usually lies in bed all morning on Sundays.
His body lies on the ground next to his wife.
He lay on the grass enjoying the sunshine. (past tense)
The book lay open on her table.
Julia has lain in bed all day. (present perfect tense)


To lay means to put. The past form is laid; and the past participle, laid. To lay is a transitive verb. It needs an object. You need to lay something.
For example:
She lays his book on the table.
He laid his hand on my shoulder. (past tense)
They have just laid the carpet on the floor. (present perfect)


Another verb that makes this pair even more confusing (or is it confused?) is to lie. To lie means not to tell the truth. The past form is lied and the past participle is lied. It is an intransitive verb.


For example:
Women above the age of 25 start to lie about their age.
Everyone has to lie sometimes. Some of the lies are called white lies because we lie in order not to hurt other people's feelings.
Bob lied to the police about his car.



Note
lie
lay
lie
lay
laid
lied
lain
laid
lied
(intransitive verb)
(transitive verb)
(intransitive verb)
= to stay flat on the surface
= to put = to tell a lie


Exercise: Lie/ lie/ lay
Directions: Choose the correct verbs to fill in the sentences. Make sure that you use the right tenses.

1. Nobody will trust you if you _______ often.
2. He fell in love with her the moment he _______ his eyes upon her.
3. I have a headache and need to _______ down for a moment.
4. She is _______ awake in bed.
5. Wet cement was _______ on the road.
6. It's not a good idea to _______ to your mother. She always knows.
7. Books _______ around on the floor.
8. _______ your sweater on the table and let it dry.



Answers:
1. Nobody will trust you if you lie often.
        (not tell the truth, present tense)
2. He fell in love with her the moment he laid his
        eyes upon her.
        (put, past tense)
3. I have a headache and need to lie down for a
        moment.
        (stay flat, present tense)
4. She is lying awake in bed.
        (stay flat, present continuous tense)
5. Wet cement was laid on the road.
        (put, past participle in passive voice)
6. It's not a good idea to lie to your mother. She
        always knows.
        (not tell the truth, present tense)
7. Books lie around on the floor.
        (stay flat, present tense)
8. Lay your sweater on the table and let it dry.
        (put, present tense imperative)






1 comments
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