Lay / Laid / Lie – Confusing VERBS at C1 or Advanced Level of English
These 3 irregular verbs are very similar in meaning and also have similar past participles. Read the explanation to uncover the differences below.
Verb to lay – takes a direct object (lay something down)
Meanings: (a.) to careful put something in position, (b.) to reproduce
- Birds and fish are not the only animals to lay eggs. Other species like insects, turtles and crocodiles also lay eggs.
- She laid the baby gently into his little cot bed so as not to wake him.
- Have you laid the table yet?
Verb to lie (1) – no direct object
Meaning: (a.) to position horizontally, (b.) to be situated
- Are you tired? Why don’t you go and lie down for a while?
- The city lies 200km away from the mountains.
- We lay down on the beach on went to sleep.
- He’s so lazy. He has lain on that couch all day!
Verb to lie (2)
Meaning: to be untruthful
- He’s so dishonest. He always lies about everything.
- They lied to the teacher about doing their homework exercises.
- She couldn’t believe that he had another wife in a different country. He had lied to her for years.
False Friends – LAY or LIE