Are you having trouble deciding whether to use lie or lay in conversation or writing? You"re not alone! The verbs "to lay" and also "to lie" are two of the trickiest verbs to choose in between. It"s not at all inexplicable for people to mix up these terms, but it is feasible to tell them apart. Find out precisely what you should recognize to easily remember the difference between lay vs. lie.

lay pencil versus lie dvery own

Understanding the Meanings of Lay and Lie

The words lay and lie have actually similar interpretations, however their definitions are not similar. When finding out the distinction in between lay and lie, it"s vital to first grasp the method these 2 words need to be used in the present tense.

What Does Lay Mean?

In the existing tense, the verb "to lay" indicates to area something in a certain place. This the majority of regularly means establishing it dvery own, maybe on the ground or on a table. This verb is transitive, which means that it takes a direct object. In easy terms, "to lay" is an activity you perdevelop on somepoint else.

Sarah lays the pencil on the table once she is done creating.

You are watching: The tarp lays flat on the ground

Lay the vase gently on the table so we can fix the crack.Could you please lay the pillows earlier on the sofa?

What Does Lie Mean?

In the current tense, the verb "to lie" suggests to take on a recumbent position, frequently stretched out on one"s earlier or side. This verb is intransitive, meaning that it does not take a straight object. It"s generally an action civilization or pets perdevelop on themselves.

I must lie down and also relax!You must lie level on the floor to stretch your sore muscles.I determined to lie in bed with the baby bereason we aren"t feeling well.

Simple Trick To Remember the Difference

People periodically confusage lie and also lay as soon as it pertains to these meanings, frequently making use of lay as soon as referring to themselves and lie as soon as referring to an object. You deserve to stop making that error with a simple memory trick.

Lie has actually an "i" in it. If you were to lie dvery own level, your body would certainly be in the form of a resources "I." So, the word with the "i" goes in addition to the I-shaped position.Lay has an "a" in it. It means to location something. Words location likewise has actually an "a" in it. When you"re talking about placing an object, use the word through an "a" (lay).

Common Errors When Choosing Lie or Lay

To get a sense of exactly how to effectively usage lie and lay in a sentence based upon their meanings, take a look at these examples and also their corrections.

Dishes in the Dishwasher

In this situation, the dish is the object that is inserted in the dishwasher, so it takes the transitive verb "to lay".

incorrect - I lie the dish in the dishwasher.correct - I lay the dish in the dishwasher.

Resting on the Sofa

In this situation, a person is being told to area his or her very own body on the sofa. Lie is the best verb below bereason there is no straight object and the definition is to be recumbent, not to put an item somewbelow.

incorrect - Please lay dvery own on the sofa till you feel much better.correct - Please lie down on the sofa until you feel better.

Confusing Conjugations: Past and also Present out Tense

Once you"ve mastered the difference in between lay and also lie in the existing tense, you"ll next have to emphasis on exactly how to conjugate the verbs into various other tenses, which adds a layer of challenge. The conjugations of the verbs "to lay" and also "to lie" are especially confmaking use of. This is bereason lie transforms right into lay in the previous tense. In various other words, the past tense form of the verb lie is specifically the very same as the existing tense verb lay.




to lie



to lay



Present out and also Past Examples of "To Lie"

The complying with examples represent correct intake of the verb "to lie" in present vs. previous tense. Notice that these terms describe being in a recumbent place.

present tense - I lie dvery own for a nap eexceptionally day at noon.past tense - I lay dvery own for a nap eextremely day once I was three years old.

The reality that it is correct to usage lay as soon as you are talking around a perboy being in a recumbent position in the past tense can lead many human being to erroneously think that lay deserve to additionally refer to a person or animal"s position in the existing tense. This is one of the most prevalent misabsorbs the English language.

Present and also Past Examples of "To Lay"

Review examples of just how "to lay" is conjugated in the present and past tense. These examples are talking around placing objects somewbelow.

present tense - I lay the book on the table each time the phone rings.past tense - I laid the book on the table to get the phone.

Notes that lay is only used in existing tense as soon as talking around the placement of a things.

Lay vs. Lie: Past and Present Participle

The verbs "to lie" and also "to lay" have the right to likewise be conjugated into present participle and past participle creates. These conjugations should be paired with proper auxiliary verbs. Armed via this indevelopment, when you"re picking in between lying dvery own or laying dvery own, you"ll recognize that the correct choice is lying bereason you require the past participle develop of "to lie" to describe the recumbent position.

VerbPresent ParticiplePast Participle
to lielyinglain
to laylayinglaid

Participle Conjugation Examples of "To Lie"

The examples below show exactly how to appropriately use the verb "to lie" in present participle forms. Notice these still refer to being in a prone position.

present participle - I will be lying down until it is time to leave. previous participle- I had lain dvery own for a nap once the phone rang.

Participle Conjugation Examples of "To Lay"

The adhering to examples show the participle conjugations of "to lay" in sentence develop. Notice just how these still refer to placing objects.

current participle - I am laying your receipt on the desk best currently. past participle - I had laid the book on the table when suddenly, the phone rang.

See more: What Does Cut From The Same Cloth Mean, Meaning Of Be Cut From The Same Cloth In English

How to Choose Between Lie or Lay

When proofreading your writing for correct intake of lie and lay, it helps to ask yourself if you are talking about a perchild or a thing.

If you want to talk around putting a things somewhere, usage lay in the existing tense and also laid in the previous tense. If you are talking around a perboy who is worn down and also demands to stretch out horizontally, you desire to usage the word lie in the present tense.

The trick to overcoming the confusion is to remember that lay is used in the previous tense as soon as you"re talking around a perchild, not a thing, and also it is offered in the current tense once talking about a things.

Practice Makes Perfect

With a bit of practice, you deserve to understand making use of lie and lay properly. Just store in mind the distinction in between talking around a things and a perchild or pet, and also you have to have the ability to correct your writing in this location through no trouble at all. Ready for a little fun? See if you can master this commonly puzzled words worksheet. Depending on your score, you might desire to spfinish some time examining some even more commonly perplexed terms to build an even more powerful vocabulary.