Saturday, January 31, 2009

[grammar corner] lay and lie

Lie detector


Lay or Lie?


• Lay means "to place something down." It is something you do to something else. It is a transitive verb.
lay – laid – laid - laying
• Lie [1] means "to recline" or "be placed." It does not act on anything or anyone else. It is an intransitive verb.
lie – lay – lain - lying
• Lie [2] means "to tell an untruth" or "to tell a lie". It does not act on anything or anyone else. It is an intransitive verb.
lie – lied – lied - lying
• Layed is a misspelling and does not exist. Use laid instead.

Which is the correct variant in each case?

1. You’ve been lying/laying on that bed all day!
2. She lied/laid to me about how much money she’d spent.
3. Whenever chickens lay/lie eggs, we eat.
4. He has lied/lie to you from the very first day.
5. He lay/laid on the bed and thought about his life.
6. Are you going to lie/lay on that bed all day?
7. Having laid/layed the books on the table, he sat down.
8. Having laid/lain in bed all day, he decided finally to get up.
9. By lying/laying the baby on the bed, she would have her hands free.
10. He has been laying/lying to you about his second wife.
11. Having laid/layed the baby on the bed, she had her hands free.
12. Do not lay/lie to me about the crime you committed!

Answers next posting day.

6 comments:

Sackerson said...

Teaching your grammar to suck eggs?

Liz said...

I had to check back with your information to get number 5 right.

Liz said...

You see I am assuming the others were right!

CherryPie said...

I think I got them all right ;-)

Gallimaufry said...

But is Bob Dylan right in this song? :-)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=VfF0uHekcc8

James Higham said...

Sackers - :)

Liz - interesting assumption.

Cherie - well done.

Gallimaufry - good question that.