More confusing words – lay and lie

Here is a group of confusing words: lay, lie, laid, lied.  So lets’ try and get them straight!

Lay means to set something down or place something somewhere as in “please lay all the presents on that table over there”

Lie – well here it gets a little more complicated – means two very different things, namely 1) to recline, to position oneself in the vertical “I am really tiered.  I am going to lie down on the bed for a bit”

and 2) to tell something that is not true. “Tell me did you break that window with your ball or was it little Johnny – and don’t lie to me!”

When lie means relaxing on a bed and when it means telling somebody a falsehood should be pretty obvious from the context.

For those interested in using these words in the past tense:

Lay – laid- “She laid out all the facts.”  “The chicken laid an egg.”

Lie –  lied: “He lied to me for years about his finances.  I’ll never trust him again.”

Lie – and here it gets tricky – lay: “I lay on my bed all morning long thinking about what I should do with the rest of my life.”


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