Lay or Lie

Lay or Lie

anglik englishman

Many people get confused over whether to use the words ‘lay’ or ‘lie’ in English.

Here’s our very brief guide.

Basically, lay means ‘to put something down’. Whereas, lie means to ‘recline’ or ‘to be in or put yourself into a flat position’.

Lay must have an object — something being laid. While lie cannot have an object.

For example, you might lay a plate on the table before eating. But when you feel tired, you lie down. You can’t lie a plate anywhere, and you can’t lay down when you want to go to sleep.

Lay is a regular verb. Lie is an irregular verb.

I hope this explanation about the difference between the words lay and lie helps in some small way.

Oh, and remember: lie can also mean ‘say something which is not true’.

As ever if you have any questions or comments to make on today’s language related point please make contact!