Skip to Content

LAY vs LIE: How to Use Lay vs Lie Correctly?

LAY vs LIE: How to Use Lay vs Lie Correctly?

Sharing is caring!

Lay vs Lie! In this lesson, you will learn the differences between lay vs lie in English. Example sentences are included to help you understand and use them correctly.

Lay vs Lie

Learn how to Use LAY LIE in English.

Using LAY

Verb Forms: Lay (present) -> Laying (present participle) -> Laid (past) -> Laid (past participle)

  • To lay is to set (or otherwise place) something in a resting position.
  • It must have an object.
  • It is a regular verb, but note the spelling of the past simple and -ed form: LAID not layed.
  • I lay the book on the table
  • Shall I lay the tray on the bed?
  • A wonderful wooden floor has been laid in the dining room.
  • How dare you lay a finger on him?
  • The doctor advised me to lay off cigarettes
  • Lay the cards face up on the table.

Using LIE

Verb Forms: Lay (present) -> Laying (present participle) .> Laid (past) -> Laid (past participle)

  • Lie means to recline or to rest in a flat position.
  • It is an irregular verb and it doesn’t take an object.
  • The -ing form is lying and the past simple is lay.
  • The -ed form, lain, is very formal and is rarely used.


  • I’d like to lie down for a while.
  • Don’t lie there moping on a lovely morning like this!
  • Some people like to lie on the beach, but I prefer to go sightseeing.
  • We lie in the sunshine for hours, getting a tan.
  • You can enjoy all the water sports, or simply lie on the beach.
  • They love to lie on the beach enjoying the sunshine.
  • Lie down on the couch if you’re feeling ill.
  • He broke his leg and had to lie all the time.

Besides, a lie also means an untruth. However, it’s the verb form of lie that people find difficult to distinguish from lay. The verb lie means to tell a falsehood.

  • Though a lie be well dressed, it is ever overcome.

Lie vs Lay | Infographic

LAY vs LIE: How to Use Lay vs Lie Correctly?

Lay Lie Differences. Learn more confused words in English.

Lay vs Lie | QUIZ

Marc Summerfield

Saturday 20th of March 2021

My name is Marc Summerfield. I prepared a PowerPoint® document describing how to write effective emails. I would like to include the graphic (clipart) above and described as: "Lie versus Lay" I am considering marketing the document as an e-book. May I have permission to embed the graphic in my marketed document? If permission is granted, I will cite the source. Sincerely, Marc Summerfield