Distinguishing Between Laying & Lying

Laying vs Lying

Of all the irregular verbs, lay and lie are two that confuse people the most. People keep making mistakes between laying and lying without even realizing it. This confusion happens because of the similarities in the meanings of the two verbs laying and lying. This article takes a closer look at laying and lying to remove the confusion from the minds of the readers once and for all.

Laying / Lay

Laying is the present participle of lay, which is a transitive verb that means to put to rest or simply to place a thing or object. The past tense of lay is laid. Laying is an act that reflects the fact that an object was laid or put to rest or in place by someone. Always use laying whenever there is an act of putting down someone or something. So it is always laying the carpet, laying down the mobile on the bed, laying the patient on the stretcher, and so on. You are laying the bed sheet on the bed.

Lying / Lie

Lying comes from lie, which is a word that has two completely different meanings. While to tell a lie is also a meaning, it is the meaning of reclining or getting into a resting position that is reflected by the intransitive verb lying. The present participle of lie is lying, and you make use of lying to indicate the fact that someone or something is reclining or is in a resting position. Take a look at the following examples:

• Bob is lying on the sofa
• Your dog is lying on the doormat
• Helen picked up the crying baby who was lying in the crib

Key Takeaways

  • Laying is a verb that is active and requires someone to put someone else or something to rest or in a reclining position.
  • Lying comes from lie, which means to rest or be in a reclining position.
  • If you are laying, you are supposed to be putting down something, whereas when you are lying, you are just resting or reclining.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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