lay - lie

lay - lie
'lay'
Lay is a transitive verb, and it is also a past tense of another verb, lie.
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To lay something somewhere means to put it there carefully.

Take the top sheet and lay it in the centre of the bed.

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The other forms of `lay' are lays, laying, laid.

He lays the negatives in the frame.

`I couldn't get a taxi,' she said, laying her hand on Nick's sleeve.

She laid the cigarette in the ash-tray.

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'lie' used as a verb
Lie is used as an intransitive verb with two different meanings.
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To lie somewhere means to be there in a horizontal position, or to get into that position.

She would lie on the floor in her overalls.

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When lie is used like this, its other forms are lies, lying, lay, lain. The past participle lain is rarely used.

A dress lies on the floor.

The baby was lying on the table.

I lay in bed in the dormitory.

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To lie means to say or write something which you know is untrue. When lie is used like this, its other forms are lies, lying, lied.

Why should he lie to me?

Rudolph was sure that Thomas was lying.

He had lied about never going back.

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'lie' used as a noun
Lie is also used as a noun. A lie is something that someone says or writes which they know is untrue.

He knew that all these statements were lies.

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You say that someone tells a lie.

I have never told a lie to my pupils.

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You do not say that someone `says' a lie.
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Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • lay, lie — Lay means to place and is a transitive verb requiring an object. Lie, in the context here, means to recline, is intransitive, and takes no object. I shall lay the rug on the floor. Please lie down here. The principal parts of lay are lay, laid,… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • lay / lie —    Lay is a transitive verb, which means it takes an object. It means to set or put down flat : Gwendolyn laid child in the crib, or Lay a book on the table, please. Its forms are lay, lays, laid, has laid, and is laying.    Lie is an… …   Confused words

  • lay / lie —    Lay is a transitive verb, which means it takes an object. It means to set or put down flat : Gwendolyn laid child in the crib, or Lay a book on the table, please. Its forms are lay, lays, laid, has laid, and is laying.    Lie is an… …   Confused words

  • lay, lie —     Laying on his back, Dalton used a long exposure of two seconds so as to achieve maximum depth of field (Photography magazine). Unless Dalton was producing eggs, he was lying on his back. Lay and lie, in all their manifestations, are a… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • lay, lie —     Laying on his back, Dalton used a long exposure of two seconds so as to achieve maximum depth of field (Photography magazine). Unless Dalton was producing eggs, he was lying on his back. Lay and lie, in all their manifestations, are a… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • lie — lay, lie These two words cause confusion even to native speakers of English because their meanings are related and their forms overlap. Lay is a transitive verb, i.e. it takes an object, and means ‘to place on a surface, to cause to rest on… …   Modern English usage

  • lay — lay, lie These two words cause confusion even to native speakers of English because their meanings are related and their forms overlap. Lay is a transitive verb, i.e. it takes an object, and means ‘to place on a surface, to cause to rest on… …   Modern English usage

  • lay —  , lie  Lay and lie, in all their manifestations, are a constant source of errors. There are no simple rules for dealing with them. You must either commit their various forms to memory or avoid them altogether. The forms are as follows:  lay lie… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • lay — lay1 W2S1 [leı] v the past tense of ↑lie 1 lay 2 lay2 v past tense and past participle laid [leıd] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(put somebody/something down)¦ 2 lay bricks/carpet/concrete/cables etc 3¦(bird/insect etc)¦ 4¦(table)¦ 5 lay the foundations/ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • lay — I [[t]leɪ[/t]] v. laid, lay•ing, n. 1) to put or place in a horizontal position or position of rest; set down: to lay a book on a desk[/ex] 2) to knock or beat down, as from an erect position; strike or throw to the ground: One punch laid him… …   From formal English to slang

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