Verbs often confused

Lie and Lay.

(a) Lie
Don’t say: I’m going to lay down for an hour.
Say: I’m going to lie down for an hour.

(b) Lay
Don’t say: Please lie the exam papers on the desk.
Say: Please lay out the exam papers on the desk.

Lie (= to rest) is an intransitive verb and never has an object.
Lay (= to put) is a transitive verb and always requires an object.
Their principal parts are lie, lay, lain, and lay, laid, laid.

Note: Lie, lied, lied is to tell an untruth: He has lied to me. Lay, laid, laid also means to produce eggs: The hen has laid an egg.
(Idiom: Lay the table is to prepare the table for a meal.)



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