Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grammar Lesson: Lie, Lay, and Laid

I do a lot of book tours on this blog, but my original intention, as the name demonstrates, was to blog more about writing, grammar, publishing, etc. If you have any questions about those subjects, feel free to ask them in the comments section below or send me an email at smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com, and I may feature it in an upcoming post!

Today, I want to write about an error I see frequently: the incorrect use of “lie,” “lay,” and “laid.”

When you’re using present tense, “to lie” is something people do, and “to lay” is something you do to something else.

Present Tense Example:
I want to lie in bed all day.
Please lay the book on the counter.

When you’re using the past tense, “lay” is actually the past form of “lie,” which sounds really strange!

Past Tense Example:
Yesterday, I lay in bed all day.
I laid the book on the counter.

Here’s a chart:

                                                          Present Tense                              Past Tense
People                                                         lie                                             lay
Objects                                                       lay                                            laid

Do you see why English can be a confusing language to learn?

Again, if you have any grammar, writing or publishing questions, I’d love to hear them!


  1. This is one of the mistakes I make all the time and could never figure out when to use what word. Thanks for this post!!!

  2. Great post! That first sentence in the past tense example sounds so weird to my ears. I have always used "laid." I won't make that mistake again.

  3. I've been doing it wrong for so many years. And I thought I was pretty good with my English skills. I'm not one who criticizes others for incorrect grammar while posting anywhere and now I'm glad I didn't - I have areas to improve myself!!


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