What to Know

Lay means "to area something dvery own level," while lie implies "to be in a flat position on a surchallenge." The essential difference is that lay is transitive and calls for a things to act upon, and lie is intransitive, describing something moving on its very own or currently in place. Beyond the present tense, the pair deserve to come to be even more confusing because lay is the previous tense of lie, and laid is the past tense of lay.

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Ever been corrected—or corrected someone else—for saying "I"m going to lay down"? In either instance, your dictionary forgives you. It"s true that the correct means to make that statement is to say "I"m going to lie dvery own," however it"s additionally true that lay and lie have actually been tripping up English speakers for 700 years, and also no one must be judged harshly for being among the puzzled. The pair is a doozy.

Lay"s a lot of common definition is "to place (somepoint or someone) down in a level place." Lie"s corresponding interpretation is "to be in a level position on a surchallenge." Lay is transitive; it needs that the verb have actually an object; tright here has to be a thing or person being placed: Lay it down. Lie, on the various other hand, is intransitive. It"s for somepoint or someone moving on their own or somepoint that"s already in position: You can lie dvery own tbelow. You deserve to lie tbelow all day.

Other Tenses of Lay and Lie

That"s tricky sufficient, however it gets worse as soon as we begin using the words beyond the existing tense. Here"s lay in context in tenses that present its principal forms:

I was told to lay the book down.

I lhelp it dvery own as I have lhelp other books down.

I am laying even more publications down currently.

And here"s lie:

I was told to lie dvery own.

I lay down.

I have actually lain right here given that.

I"m still lying below.

Did you capture that? For lay, we have lay, laid, have actually laid, laying; for lie, we have actually lie, lay, have lain, lying. And then there"s the unrelated verb definition "to tell an unfact." That lie goes lie, lied, have lied, lying.

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Yes, it"s really that complicated. We apologize. If you desire to brush up, emphasis on the existing and past tenses—they perform many of the work by far—and inspect the dictionary entries as soon as you"re not sure.