Lay vs Lie : Verbal Basics

‘Lay’ and ‘Lie’ are two words which often confuse English speakers. The confusion stems from the fact that both the words have a close meaning to put something down. However, there is a distinct difference between the two words. And no we are not lying about it 🙂

When you use the word lay, it refers to some object which is being laid down. You can lay a cup on the table or lay a box in the car. When you say, “I lay a cup on the table”, you is the subject whereas the cup is the object. You certainly never lie a cup on a table or lie a box in the car.

Lie, in this case, means to stay at rest in a horizontal position. So, you ‘lie’ down to take rest. In this scenario, the subject i.e you is taking the action of taking rest. The present participle of lie is lying whereas for lay is laying.

What else you can do inside qs leap ?

2500+ Free
Practice Questions

Get Free Access to 2500+ GMAT/GRE Questions

30 Min
Prep Classes

Attend Free GMAT/GRE Prep Classes Everyday

Virtual One-to-One

On-demand online meetings with Admissions Teams for free

While it may seem a little confusing, doing a lot of reading and writing practice will make you familiar with its usage. The most important thing to remember is that ‘lay’ has an object while ‘lie’ does not have an object. This rule will help you sail through this question, should it present itself during the exam.

Let’s lay this topic to rest now! Attempt a few practice questions to test your understanding.

Img credit:

Channel Name