The Strange Working Of The English Language Part Seven

Check out the latest installment of Esther Chilton’s series on The Strange Working of the English Language from this post on her blog.


Here is part seven in my new series, where I take a look at the weird and wonderful world of words. If you missed part one, please click here. You’ll find part two here and part three here. For part four click here. Now for parts five and six

Q. When do you use the words ‘lay’ and ‘lie’?

A. You use the verb ‘lay’ to refer to putting something down. There needs to be an object e.g.:

I am going to lay the book flat on the table.

Past tense:

I laid the book flat on the table.

The word ‘lie’ is an irregular verb and doesn’t need an object e.g.:

When I’m on holiday, I love to lie out in the sun.

Past tense:

When I was on holiday, I lay out in the sun.

‘Lie’ has another meaning – when someone says something…

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