Lay vs. Lie In English Grammar

Difference Between Lay and Lie In English Grammar Lay and Lie are two verbs are which are often…

Difference Between Lay and Lie In English Grammar

Lay and Lie are two verbs are which are often befuddled owing to similarity in their meanings. In fact they are used in another way with different usage.

One of the main difference between lay and lie is that lay is a regular verb. On the other hand lie is an irregular verb. There are forms different from regular verb ‘lay’. They are lay, laying and laid. The verb ‘ lay’ is used in sense ‘to put down something carefully ’. It also has the sense of ‘ putting down flat ’.

One of the important conditions of regular verb ‘ lay’ is that it demands the use of an object also. Notice following sentences:

1. I laid the pounds on the table.

2. Lay the painting down on the carpet.

In both sentences given above, verb ‘ lay’ is used in sense of putting down carefully. In the first sentence the pounds were carefully put down on the table. In the second sentence we have an idea that the painting was put down flat on the carpet.

Other forms of irregular verb ‘ lie ‘ are on the other hand lie, lying, lay and lain. It gives sense of ‘ to be down’ or ‘ to be flat ’. The Irregular verb ‘ lie ‘ does not need the use of an object unlike regular verb ‘ lay ‘. It is an important difference between verbs ‘lay’ and ‘lie’.

Look at following sentences:

1. Never lie on the bed all day long. Rather do a little job.

2. I fell and lay immobile for some minutes.

In both the sentences given above the verb ‘ lie ‘ and one of its forms are used in sense ‘ to be down ’ or ‘ to be flat ’. Both the verbs must be used with precision.


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