It depends on what you’re saying.
These two words are so often confused, I thought I’d put together a little something to help.
Lay vs Lie
To lay means to put or to place. One way to remember this is that there is an A in both to lay and to place: Sally will lay out her outfit before she goes to bed.
To lie means to recline. One way to remember this is that there is an E in both to lie and to recline: John is going to lie down for a nap.
In short; A is lay or place; E is lie or recline.
(Side note: The Australian and English vernacular of “have a lie down” or “a lie in” can come in handy if you’re writing about people from (or in) one of those places.)
Now that you’ve got that all figured out, here come the past tenses, which will confuse things all over again!
The past tense of to lay is laid: Sally laid out her outfit. The past tense of to lie is lay: John lay down for a nap over an hour ago.
I hope you enjoyed this and it helped.
Christine – Guest blogger
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