Improve Your English – Lesson 5: The Difference between Lay/Lie

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Improve Your English – Lesson 5: The Difference between Lay/Lie

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Even some native speakers have trouble with these two words—learn them well and you will be a superstar!

Lie is an intransitive verb and never has an object. It means to stay at rest in a horizontal position.

  • Don’t say: I am going to lay down for a nap.
  • Do say: I am going to lie down for a nap.

Lay is a transitive verb and always requires an object. It means to set or put something down.

  • Don’t say: Please lie this book on the desk.
  • Do say: Please lay this book on the desk.

Remember the saying “Let sleeping dogs lie” and note that the sleeping dog is not moving.
Lay is more active than lie.

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