Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How to use 'lie' and 'lay' correctly

To lie means to recline or not to tell the truth and to lay is to produce eggs as hens do or set the table for meals. The confusion occurs when the past tense of ‘lie’ is spelt ‘lay’.

The past tense of ‘lie’ is ‘lay’ while the past tense of ‘lay’ is ‘laid’.

Here is a way to remember the two words.

Remember ‘pay paid paid’ to recall ‘lay laid laid’.

Present tense Past tense Past participle

pay paid paid

lay laid laid

lie lay lain

lie lied lied

1 I pay her daily to clean the house.

I paid for the lunch I had with my friend just now.

I have paid my club subscription.

2 The hens lay eggs regularly.

The hens laid 100 eggs yesterday.

The hens have laid eggs since a week ago.

3 My parents always lie here.

My parents lay here a moment ago.

My parents have lain here since an hour ago.

4 The boys lie very often.

The boys lied to us yesterday.

The boys have lied.

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