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Lie/ Lay/ Lie
Among what is called "deceiving" verbs, which you mix up again and again, To LIE and To LAY are really the most difficult ones to distinguish and use correctly: real traitors to deceive you...
|To lie||I lied||lied||He lies||lying||= speak falsely (regular verb)|
|To lie||I lay||lain||He lies||lying||= be in a horizontal position|
|To lay||I laid||laid||He lays||laying||= place in a horizontal position|
First, there are two verbs : "LIE" ; their infinitive forms are similar, but one is regular, whereas the other one is irregular !
Besides, the preterite of the irregular verb (LAY) happens to be similar to the infinitive of another irregular verb (To LAY), which is also used very often. I know many advanced students who have to make a little pause to think before using them when speaking! Let's try to see more clearly the differences between those three verbs.
1) To LIE, LIED, LIED to someone (regular verb) = to speak falsely to someone.
|To tell a lie *||= a falsehood||To tell the truth *||= opposed to"lies"!|
|A lie detector||= polygraph to detect the truth||A liar||= person who lies|
| To lie by omission || = to omit to say an important truth ||A white lie||= a little lie|
|To lie through one's teeth||= to lie grossly|| A little white lie|| = an unimportant lie |
* BEWARE of articles : to tell a lie = indefinite article= there are multitudes of lies BUT To tell the truth = definite one because there's only one truth!
2) To LIE, LAY, LAIN= to be resting in a horizontal position.
|To lie||= to rest in a horizontal position||To lie down|| = to rest on a bed|
|To lie in||= to stay in bed late||To lie in wait||= to be hidden and wait|
|To lie still||= not to move.|| To be lying|| = to be buried|
| Let this matter lie! ||= leave the problem alone||The problem lies in the fact ...||= the problem is here ...|
To lie awake
3) To LAY, LAID, LAID = put in a flat position, produce eggs.
|To lay an egg||= to produce eggs||To lay the table||= set plates, glasses...|
|To lay emphasis on||= to put the stress on||To lay the blame on||= accuse someone of|
|To lay hands on||= to find and keep...||To lay it on thick||= to exaggerate in words|
|A lay-by||= a rest area|| To lay down weapons ||= to surrender|
|To lay out|| = display, spread out ||To lay off|| = to dismiss an employee|
A lay-by = a rest area
Here you are! That's quite easy, but if you want to be too fast, you may be easily mistaken. Good luck for the test!
Take the time to think for a second... Then, it will become automatic!
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