Review of Lie / Lay

 

Review of Lie and Lay

Lie

Tense Form Examples
Present Lie I think I will lie down for a while.
Past Lay Yesterday, I lay in bed until noon.
Past Participle Lain She has lain on the couch all afternoon.
Present Participle Lying Mildred is lying in bed.

 

Lay

Tense Form Examples
Present Lay I think I will lay the book on the table.
Past Laid Yesterday, I laid the book on the table.
Past Participle Laid She has laid the book on the table.
Present Participle Laying Mildred is laying the book on the table.

 

Note that Lie is intransitive. That is, it is something the subject does but there is no object receiving the action.

Lay is transitive. There is an object receiving the action. You can lay something down.

Note that the word lied does not appear in these lists. Lied is the past tense of the “untruthful lie.” That is, when you do not tell the truth, you lie. When you did not tell the truth, you lied.

I’m not lying.

In fact, that statement is not a lie, because I am sitting at my desk.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

1)      The word “lied” is never used in the context of resting or reclining. It is only when a fib was told in the past.

2) The word “lying” can be used both in the fib context and in the resting or reclining context. Usage of the word “lying” can be ambiguous. Make sure the context makes it clear. While a tired Aunt Ruth was lying on the sofa, I could tell she was lying about not having eaten the chocolate chip cookies.

3)      “Laying” is only used in the context of setting something down or performing an action on an object. We were laying sod in the back yard. We were laying plans for the future.

4)      Using “lay” as the past tense of “lie” sounds awkward at times, but, well, our language is awkward at times anyway. I lay down yesterday. Just accept that’s how it goes.

More Exercises with Lie and Lay
(All answers are one word and use a form of the verbs lie or lay.)

  1. I have a headache. I think I need to ___________________ down.
  2. I was  ___________________ on the couch when the phone rang.
  3. I  ___________________ in bed last night, reading a book before I fell asleep.
  4. John  ___________________ down to take a nap.
  5. Please ___________________ the book on the table.
  6. She  ___________________ the pan of lasagna on the counter.
  7. I have  ___________________ on that couch before. It’s quite nice.
  8. Before he went to the store, he  ___________________ on the floor to rest a bit.
  9. Shouldn’t you go ___________________ down for a while?
  10. She is ___________________ all of her stuffed animals on the sidewalk.
  11. He can’t come to the phone. He is  ___________________ in bed.
  12. He says he wants to  ___________________ down, but he  ___________________ in bed all day
    yesterday too.
  13. Johny  ___________________ the dead squirrel in Grandma’s bed.
  14. Grandma  ___________________ in bed, sound asleep, when he did it.
  15. Grandma said she would never  ___________________ in bed again, but it’s noon and she
    ___________________ in bed all morning. Yes, it’s true. She has  ___________________ in bed
    all morning.
  16. I have  ___________________ the dead parrot on the back porch.
  17. My grandmother was so tired from running the marathon that she  ___________________ on
    the floor all morning.
  18. Stalking her cousin Matthew, Annie  ___________________ on the ground the entire day,
    disguised as a dead possum.
  19. I have never  ___________________ on that couch before. Is it comfortable?
  20. She has  ___________________ on her new bed only twice since she bought it.
  21. Aaron carefully  ___________________ the baseball cards on the table.
  22. Could you take our new dining plates and  ___________________ them on the table for dinner?
  23. I have  ___________________ plates on the table before.
  24. Have you ever  ___________________ plates on the table?
  25. Have you ever  ___________________ on a futon?
  26. The newspaper boy will  ___________________ the newspaper on the front porch.
  27. The newspaper boy will  ___________________ on the front porch because he is tired.
  28. The newspaper boy will  ___________________ himself on the front porch so he can rest a bit.
  29. Who’s the guy who is  ___________________ out the soup bowls for dinner?
  30. Ah, there you are. Have you been  ___________________ here the whole time?
  31. I don’t want to  ___________________ down, though I think Susie is done
    ___________________ down.
  32. Please  ___________________ the vase down. It’s an antique.
  33. Please  ___________________ down. You are an antique.
  34. It’s only 9am. I can’t believe you have already  ___________________ down for a nap this
    morning!
  35. Was my tuba too loud when you  ___________________ down to take a nap?
  36. When I finished playing, I  ___________________ the tuba down.
  37. Why is the farmer picking up the baby chicks and  ___________________ them back on the ground?
  38. Why is Mrs. Brown  ___________________ down and then standing up, repeatedly?
  39. Grandma, could you  ___________________ next to me and tell me a story?
  40. Grandpa  ___________________ next to me yesterday and told me a great tale.
  41. A person who doesn’t tell the truth is  ___________________. A person who is in bed trying to
    sleep is  ___________________ down.
  42. I was hoping he would tell the truth, but he  ___________________ to me.

(Answers) More exercises with lie and lay.

  1. I have a headache. I think I need to ________lie________ down.
  2. I was  ___lying___________ on the couch when the phone rang.
  3. I  _______lay_________ in bed last night, reading a book before I fell asleep.
  4. John  ____lay____________ down to take a nap.
  5. Please _____lay___________ the book on the table.
  6. She  _______laid________ the pan of lasagna on the counter.
  7. I have  _____lain__________ on that couch before. It’s quite nice.
  8. Before he went to the store, he  _______lay_________ on the floor to rest a bit.
  9. Shouldn’t you go ______lie__________ down for a while?
  10. She is ____laying_________ all of her stuffed animals on the sidewalk.
  11. He can’t come to the phone. He is  ___lying___________ in bed.
  12. He says he wants to  ______lie__________ down, but he  ______lay__________ in bed all day
    yesterday too.
  13. Johny  __laid_____________ the dead squirrel in Grandma’s bed.
  14. Grandma  ___lay_____________ in bed, sound asleep, when he did it.
  15. Grandma said she would never  _______lie_________ in bed again, but it’s noon and she
    _____lay___________ in bed all morning. Yes, it’s true. She has  ____lain___________ in bed all
    morning.
  16. I have  ____laid___________ the dead parrot on the back porch.
  17. My grandmother was so tired from running the marathon that she  _______lay_________ on
    the floor all morning.
  18. Stalking her cousin Matthew, Annie  _____lay___________ on the ground the entire day, disguised as a dead possum.
  19. I have never  ____lain___________ on that couch before. Is it comfortable?
  20. She has  ____lain___________ on her new bed only twice since she bought it.
  21. Aaron carefully  _laid______________ the baseball cards on the table.
  22. Could you take our new dining plates and  ___lay____________ them on the table for dinner?
  23. I have  _____laid__________ plates on the table before.
  24. Have you ever  ____laid___________ plates on the table?
  25. Have you ever  ____lain___________ on a futon?
  26. The newspaper boy will  _________lay__________ the newspaper on the front porch.
  27. The newspaper boy will  _________lie__________ on the front porch because he is tired.
  28. The newspaper boy will  ________lay___________ himself on the front porch so he can rest a
    bit.
  29. Who’s the guy who is  _______laying____________ out the soup bowls for dinner?
  30. Ah, there you are. Have you been  ____lying_______________ here the whole time?
  31. I don’t want to  _____lie______________ down, though I think Susie is done
    _____lying______________ down.
  32. Please  ____lay____________ the vase down. It’s an antique.
  33. Please  ____lie____________ down. You are an antique.
  34. It’s only 9am. I can’t believe you have already  _____lain__________ down for a nap this
    morning!
  35. Was my tuba too loud when you  ____lay____________ down to take a nap?
  36. When I finished playing, I  ___laid____________ the tuba down.
  37. Why is the farmer picking up the baby chicks and  ___laying__________ them back on the
    ground?
  38. Why is Mrs. Brown  ____lying_________ down and then standing up, repeatedly?
  39. Grandma, could you  _lie_______________ next to me and tell me a story?
  40. Grandpa  __lay______________ next to me yesterday and told me a great tale.
  41. A person who doesn’t tell the truth is  __lying____________. A person who is in bed trying to
    sleep is  _lying_____________ down.
  42. I was hoping he would tell the truth, but he  _lied______________ to me.