Monday, September 6, 2010

60-Second Good-To-Knows: 9/6/2010

This week’s topic: grammar

On the use of lie and lay:


These two words are often confusing because of their past tenses. In the present tense, lay means “to place something down,” whereas lie means “to recline” or “be placed.”

The past tense of lay is laid
The past tense of lie is lay

The past participle of lay is laid
The past participle of lie is lain

Examples:

Present:
Lay: I lay the pan on the stove.
Lie: Lie on the bed.

Past:
Laid: I laid the book on my desk last Monday.
Lay: I lay on the couch watching t.v. all afternoon yesterday.

Past Participle:
Laid: The chicken has laid 1,000 eggs so far.
Lain: Had she lain down all night, her pain would have gone away.

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