Grammar-ease: Lying vs Laying (Lie vs Lay)

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Using lay versus lie has come up quite a bit, so here’s a re-do of my 2013 post on these tricky words.

Lay is an active verb. A person picks up a book and lays it on a chair. A chicken lays an egg. (The person and chicken are active.)

Lie is a still verb. People lie on beds. Cats lie on people. Fleas lie on cats. (The people, cats, and fleas are still.)

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Lay: to place or set something

Simple Progressive Perfect Perfect progressive (action continues for a while)
Present I lay

You lay

He/she/it lays

They lay

I am laying

You are laying

She is laying

They are laying

I have laid

You have laid

She has laid

They have laid

I have been laying

You have been laying

She has been laying

They have been laying

Past I laid

You laid

She laid

They laid

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