Using an incorrect form increases the risk of misunderstanding at best, and it may make you sound uneducated. What does this mean? let it lie. The accident victim lay in the street. 1 decade ago. Lay vs. lie is one of English’s most confusing questions. You can lay something down – a book, a baby, a pen - but you yourself will lie down. (Nick Harper, Man Skills.Michael O'Mara Books, 2006) "In politics, strangely enough, the best way to play your cards is to lay them face upward on the table." We understand each other anyway, right? Lie and lay both have many definitions, but they’re most often confused where lie means to recline and lay means to put down.But the distinction is simple: Lay needs an object—something being laid—while lie cannot have an object. For example, you might lay a book on the table, lay a sweater on the bed, or lay a child in her crib. Let it lie. To lay the book on the table. Because you need a direct object only with lay, you will know that the past tense is laid. The important distinction is that “lay” requires a direct object and “lie” does not. Join Yahoo Answers and get … Lie down, Fido! LET’S MASTER THE PRESENT TENSE FIRST. The complicated part is that to lie is an irregular verb, whereas to lay is regular. Anonymous. The verb lay does take an object, as in the sentence “I was laying the cards face down.” Examples "Now lay the back of the shirt flat on the board and iron out any creases in whatever style you see fit." When writing about things rather than people, it is helpful to think of the word lying meaning “resting.” For example, in the sentence “The cards were lying face down,” lying is the correct form of the verb lie, meaning “to recline or rest.”The verb lie does not take an object. (H. G. Wells) "The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won't get much sleep." 0 1. The meanings of lay and lie are very similar – both have to do with reclining/setting down. Both involve something or someone in a horizontal position, so what's the difference? Lie, lay, lied, laid, layed… Does it even matter? English has two other verbs that may confuse the issue further: to lie – “to tell a falsehood” – generally intransitive: Present: Today I lie … In I lie down to sleep, there is no object to the sentence, just subject (I).In Now I lay me down to sleep, there is a subject (I) and an object (me).Even though the subject and object are one and the same, the object is still present in the sentence, so you must use lay. The difference here is in usage. The spectators lay back in their seats to look at the sky. Lay requires a direct object, and lie does not. let it lie. 2 1. flezzle. The past tense of lie (as in, to tell an untruth) is lied.As you can see, the past tense of lie is lay, but the past tense of lay is laid, which is a recipe for confusion!To remember that laid (as opposed to lain) is the past tense of lay, just memorize this phrase:. In the present tense, lay is a transitive verb, that is, someone or something lays someone something down. Lie is am intransitive bverb, so it can't have an object.There he lies, dead as a doornail.Lay is the transitive causative form of lie; i.e, lay means 'cause to lie', so it can have an object.We will lay him there, in the crypt.That's the simple part. The difference between “lie” and “lay” is actually not so hard to understand: 0 1. Today it’s your turn to lay the table. In fact, it does matter. The past participle forms of lay and lie (formed with the helping verb “have”) are also distinct: lay maintains its past form laid , but lie takes the new ending lain. Ask Question + 100. 1 decade ago. Still have questions? 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