Welcome to Grammar Lesson Monday!
This continuous series will address many common grammar mistakes made in the media and that I've seen more than once. I strive to make the world a better place with good grammar.
Today, we will learn about when to use lay and lie.
I struggle with this ALL the time, so I'm actually doing this for myself today.
I got my reference and wording here.
Lay is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects.
Present tense is “lay.” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table)
Past tense is “laid.” (e.g., Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table).
Lie is an intransitive verb. It needs no object.
Present tense is “lie.” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina)
Past tense is “lay.” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance)
The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie" (e.g., I lay on the bed).
That's it for today. Celebrate good grammar!