Grammar-ease: Lay versus Lie

One of my pet peeves–makes me a little crazy even in light recreational reading!

Live to Write - Write to Live

I haven’t had a grammar post in a while, so here’s a new one!

A particularly challenging one for many people, the conundrum of lay versus lie. 

Lay is an active verb. A person picks up a book and lays it on a chair. A chicken lays an egg. (The person and chicken are active.)

Lie is a still verb. People lie on beds. Cats lie on people. Fleas lie on cats. (The people, cats, and fleas are still.)


Lay: to place or set something.

Simple Progressive Perfect Perfect progressive (action continues for a while)
Present I layYou layHe/she/it laysThey lay I am layingYou are layingShe is layingThey are laying I have laidYou have laidShe has laidThey have laid I have been layingYou have been layingShe has been layingThey have been laying
Past I laidYou laidShe laidThey laid I was layingYou were layingShe was layingThey were laying I…

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