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use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:16 pm
by jackjack
Hi ,
I've a little confusion about the verbs "to lie" and "to lay".
Have you a suggestions?
See you later

Re: use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:05 am
by Joe
British English
There are actually quite a few meanings for these words, but the most common are below.

1. to lie (regular verb lie, lied, lied) = to deliberately say something untrue
Johnny lied to his teacher about his homework.

2. to lie (irregular verb lie, lay, lain) = to be in or get into a flat position
I feel sick. May I lie on your sofa?
I felt sick so I lay down for an hour.
Yesterday I lay on the grass for an hour.

3. to lay (irregular verb lay, laid, laid) = to put something down, often flat
Please lay the blanket over the baby.

4. to lay (irregular verb lay, laid, laid) = [of a female bird etc] to produce eggs
This chicken laid 6 eggs this morning.

American English
My American dictionaries suggest that the above is correct usage in American English, but I hear many Americans using to lay for 2 above, thus:
I feel sick. May I lay on your sofa?

I conclude that this is also correct usage today in American English but perhaps some of our AmE speakers could confirm.

Re: use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:55 am
by jackjack
Thanks Josef

Re: use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:46 am
by Tukanja
Although I already read about this and from time to time checked it in both my dictionary and my grammar books and even I understand all the differences which Josef has perfectly explained I have problems with the words (aspects of the mentioned verbs) if I have found them in texts (novelas) I read.

I am not a teacher but learner but wanna say that I think that one who doesn't have any problem with its meaning and gets the meaning in a 1/100 part of a second and also pronounce the words perfectly speaks advanced English.

Re: use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:11 pm
by Samandra
thank you so much teacher Josef
this is very helpful
but I have problems in prounciate these word

Re: use of "to lie" and "to lay"

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:11 pm
by Tukanja
May I lay myself on your sofa; would be grammatically correct I think? (lay myself ~ put myself down to)

Anyway this was perfect timing to review the lesson. ;-) :-D