1. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lying, Laying, etc.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by chicagoliz, Jun 11, 2012.

    I can never get this right no matter how many times I read the rule. Is this the correct form:

    We laid on the bed for a little while before we reluctantly decided we had to get up.

    or is it we lied? We lay?

    I am incapable of learning this grammar point.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. We lay on the bed for a little while before we reluctantly decided we had to get up.

    Look in the dictionary at lie (intransitive verb, meaning repose) and then at lay (transitive verb, to place). The past tense of lie is lay, the past tense of lay is laid.

    You are capable of learning this, and also of using the dictionary when in doubt. Just remember to use your tools.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you so much, Cogito! I'm able to remember most of the other grammar roles, but this one always eludes me. I believe you that "lay" is the correct word -- it just somehow seems odd to me. I guess it's something about "lay" being capable of either present or past tense.
     
  4. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Question. I get this confused too and reading the OP it sounds like it could me either past or present tense. If it was present wouldn't it be lay and past be laid, as you stated afterwards. However if the OP stated the person's name for example "Johnny laid on the bed for a little while before he reluctantly decided he had to get up." Wouldn't it be lied?

    I read further into this and articles pointed out you cannot lie something down, it is more of an action like "Johnny lie on the couch next to the cat!" As if you were directly speaking to Johnny. However with an object or describing something you use Lay and laid.

    My grandmother is often the one confusing me the most with this. Her way of teaching is "you do not lay like you are laying an egg, you lie and if you are placing yourself on the couch"

    This confuses me a lot too.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Johnny lies on the bed.
    Johnny is lying on the bed now.
    Johnny lay on the bed yesterday.
    Johnny was lying on the bed.
    Johnny has lain on the bed before.
    Johnny had lain on the bed several times before.
    Johnny will lie on the bed tomorrow, too.
    Johnny will have lain on the bed twenty times by then.

    Johnny lays a rose on the bed.
    Johnny is laying a rose on the bed now.
    Johnny laid on the bed yesterday.
    Johnny was laying roses on the bed.
    Johnny has laid roses on the bed before.
    Johnny had laid roses on the bed several times before.
    Johnny will lay roses on the bed tomorrow, too.
    Johnny will have laid roses on the bed twenty times by then.

    Lie: vi. to repose in a horizontal manner. past: lay, past participle: lain, present participle: lying
    Lay: vt. to place something (on a surface). past: laid, past participle laid, present participle: laying

    The participles are important because you use them with auxiliary verbs to form most of the compound tenses.
     
  6. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Great example. Thank you so much!
     

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