When to use lie vs lay? Grammar In English

The English Grammar can be very confusing. But with the right knowledge, it isn’t as confusing as it seems. Read on to find out more.

Grammar In English

Grammar in English is the means by which words are encoded in phrases, wordings and sentences. This involves the basic structure of phrases, words, clauses, sentences and whole texts in English. Grammar in English is a fundamental part of communication that helps people make sense of words and the written word. This also helps in making judgments of ideas or concepts. It is basically used for guiding the use of language in conversation and also in academic or professional writing.

Grammatical errors

Grammatical errors are often made by English speakers who are trying to communicate in different ways. They may also be speaking to native English speakers who may not know the correct grammar. Grammar in English is very important because it helps one to express oneself and understand what the other person is saying. This can be done by using both the right and left hand parts of the body in the verbal and written forms.

Grammatical rules

Grammatical rules are important for learning how to speak English correctly. A good start to start out with would be to have a look at grammar in English online. Grammar in English can help you avoid misunderstandings, spelling mistakes and common mistakes in writing. The right way to spell and use grammar will help you improve your knowledge of English and write in an English-like way.

Lie Vs Lay

Despite the similarities, these words have different meanings. To help you understand better, here are the definitions:

  • Lay means to place something carefully or gently.
  • Lie means to recline or to assume a horizontal or resting position.

Lie Vs Lay Chart

Before knowing how to use lie vs lay, you must be aware of several forms of these words. That means you have to cope with the tenses of the verb. Once you get used to this rule, it will be easier to understand the lay vs lie relationship. The necessary rules are mentioned below.

Present TensePast TensePresent ParticiplePast Participle

Present Tense

Lay vs lie are present tense forms of words. It must be shown as the examples below.


  • The dog jumps up on the bed and lies down.
  • John likes to lie down on the couch for naps.


  • I know where I lay my clothes when I’m in a dressing room.
  • The dogs always lay their toys beside their water bowls.

Past Tense

Things get confusing with the past tense. Here, lay is the past tense of lie while laid is the past form of lay. Look at the examples below.


  • You are unable to sleep and lay awake for hours last night.
  • Yesterday, the children lay down on the muddy ground.


  • The girl laid the book on the table forcefully.
  • Last night, you laid all the ingredients on the table for the upcoming party.

Present participle

In present participle, lie turn into lying and lay become laying. Here are some examples to expand on this:


  • Ana is in the park lying on the grass and soaking up the sun.
  • She likes to spend her off lying on her bed and read.


  • Your sister is laying a towel on the grass beside you.
  • Mother is laying the table carefully, so she doesn’t move any of the plates.

Past participle

Laid is the past participle of lay while lie is lain. Here are the examples:


  • Amber had just lain down to sleep when a noise disturbs her.
  • The pig has lain in that puddle for most of the day.


  • The book that you had laid on the table had fallen.
  • Your daughter has laid all of the towels on the ground in a heap.

When to use lie vs lay?

Lay means to place or put in a horizontal position. This is a transitive verb, which means it requires a direct object.
I lay the quilt on the chair.
I lay the plates on the table.
Lie means to recline or be in a horizontal, recumbent, or resting position. This is an intransitive verb, which means it does not take a direct object.
I lie on the couch and nap.
The fat cat loves to lie in the sun.


Always remember that lie is to recLIne or to lie down while lay is to pLAce or to lay down. As you read this article, I assume that you already understand the definition and the rules in using lie vs lay.

If you still agonized with these words, don’t be shy to leave a comment below. I’m willing to help you to get rid of your confusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *