Lay vs Lie - English Grammar - Teaching Tips


The two words "lay" and "lie" are often confused for each other, which is why we decided to break down the differences in this video. "Lay" is what is called a transitive verb. That means, it needs to be followed by one or more objects. A good example sentence would be "I lay the book on the table". As you can see, lay is followed by ""on the table"". We couldn't only say "I lay the book." as it would be incomplete. This means it is transitive. "Lie" on the other hand is an intransitive verb. That means it doesn't take an object, for example "I lie down". Most errors have to do with the past tenses of the two verbs, as the past tense of "lie" is "lay" while the past tense of "lay" is "laid".

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