Grammar-ease: Lay versus Lie

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

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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.

SimpleProgressivePerfectPerfect progressive (action continues for a while)
PresentI layYou layHe/she/it laysThey layI am layingYou are layingShe is layingThey are layingI have laidYou have laidShe has laidThey have laidI have been layingYou have been layingShe has been layingThey have been laying
PastI laidYou laidShe laidThey laidI was layingYou were layingShe was layingThey were layingI…

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