1. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Laying? Lying?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by PurpleCandle, Mar 25, 2011.

    She felt comfort laying on his lap.

    MS word keeps correcting the underlined word with lying (lie).

    Should I re-write the sentence ...as she lay on his lap. Is laying not appropriate?

    What am I missing?
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I *think* it's like I want to lay down or she needs to lie down. I think it's because you're using she? I could be completely wrong though. I'm not the best with that.
     
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  3. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Ok, that sounds like it might be right.

    Sometimes I hate being from the South, we have so many phrases and words that are not grammatically correct.

    9 times out of ten, I hear people from my area say laying. Hardly ever hear lying (unless the subject is about lies).
     
  4. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I know! I spent part of my childhood in Tennessee and my dad still lives there, it really is confusing :D
     
  5. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I learned it like this:

    "Lay" means to put/place something. It takes an object. E.g. "I lay the book on the table."
    The past tense of "lay" is "laid."

    "Lie" does not take an object and is used in the sense of lying down (yourself). E.g. "I am going to lie down" or "The cat was lying on the chair."
    The past tense of "lie" is "lay."

    So, "She felt comfort lying on his lap" would be correct.
     
  6. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, the definition of the word "lay" means to "put" as in, "You lay down the book." You cannot by definition lay yourself down on the bed. In this case, you lie down on the bed.

    So Word is correct in that the sentence should read, "She felt comfortable lying in his lap." You could also say, "When she lay her head in his lap, she felt comfortable."

    Don't worry though, I also had this problem and needed it drilled into my brain before I got it. :)
     
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  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Thank you :) At least I still gave her the right answer, even if I was wrong about why...LOL Now maybe I'll be able to remember too :D
     
  8. Ion
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    Ion Senior Member

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    I have no idea. I just pick whatever sounds right, but sometimes spellchecker gets after me.
     
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  9. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I agree except that the sentence "When she lay her head in his lap" should read "laid" if it's in past tense, or "lays" if it's in present.

    The confusing thing is that the past tense of "lie" is the same as the present tense of "lay."
     
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  10. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    I always remember it as process (to lay) versus result (to lie), or movement versus position for that matter. Same as "into" versus "in". You go into the house (movement) versus "I am in the house" (position). [Note: other examples follow the same rule]
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...ok, if 'she' is a brood hen!...

    ...because that's the correct verb, if 'she' is not a brood hen...

    ...yes... and no, it's not, unless she's laying eggs...

    'She felt comfortable lying on his lap' is the correct wording, if 'she' is anything else and is just reclining there...
     
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  12. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    LOL, Nope she is not a hen!

    Lying it is then! I can't use reclining because of the position she is in. Lying will have to do!

    Edit: I also can't use comfortable, because she is not comfortable, but she feels a sense of comfort. I'll re-word it to make that more clear.
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Lying" is the state. "Laying" is the change of state. MS Word is correct (it does happen).
     

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