Grammar Series, No. 7: Lie/Lay Part 2

by Jody Calkins

Past Tense for Lie and Lay: Is it "lay" or "laid"?

  • "Lay" is the past tense for "lie" and means "reclined", as in "Our chickens lay in the dirt all afternoon."

  • "Laid" is the past tense of "lay" and means "put something down", as in "We laid to rest the day-old chicks that died during transit."

 

Tense Sequence:

  • Lie (= recline), lying (= reclining), lay (= reclined), (have) lain (= have reclined)

  • Lay (= place [something]), laying (= placing [something]), laid (= placed [something]), (have) laid (= have placed [something])

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