Lay vs. Lie

Main Difference

The main difference between the verbs lay and lie is that the word lay is a transitive verb, as there is a direct object following it and the word ‘lie’ is an intransitive verb because it does not have any direct object.

Lay vs. Lie — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Lay and Lie

Lay vs. Lie

Lay means “to put or place” whereas lie means “to rest,” “to assume or be situated in a horizontal position.”

Lay vs. Lie

The verb lay is a transitive verb, as there is a direct object following it on the flip side the word ‘lie’ is an intransitive verb, as it does not have any direct object.

Lay vs. Lie

Lay refer to putting something down in a horizontal position while lie is used to place in a horizontal position.

Lay vs. Lie

Lay requires a direct object conversely lie does not require a direct object.

Lay vs. Lie

The verb lay indicates an action in progress; on the other hand, the verb lie indicates a person's position.

Layverb

(transitive) To place down in a position of rest, or in a horizontal position.

to lay a book on the table;to lay a body in the graveA shower of rain lays the dust.
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Lieverb

(intransitive) To rest in a horizontal position on a surface.

The book lies on the table;the snow lies on the roof;he lies in his coffin

Layverb

To cause to subside or abate.

Lieverb

(intransitive) To be placed or situated.

Layverb

(transitive) To prepare (a plan, project etc.); to set out, establish (a law, principle).

Lieverb

To abide; to remain for a longer or shorter time; to be in a certain state or condition.

to lie waste;to lie fallow; to lie open;to lie hidden;to lie grieving;to lie under one's displeasure;to lie at the mercy of the wavesThe paper does not lie smooth on the wall.

Layverb

(transitive) To install certain building materials, laying one thing on top of another.

lay brick;lay flooring
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Lieverb

Used with in: to be or exist; to belong or pertain; to have an abiding place; to consist.

Layverb

(transitive) To produce and deposit an egg.

Lieverb

Used with with: to have sexual relations with.

Layverb

(transitive) To bet (that something is or is not the case).

I'll lay that he doesn't turn up on Monday.

Lieverb

(archaic) To lodge; to sleep.

Layverb

(transitive) To deposit (a stake) as a wager; to stake; to risk.

Lieverb

To be still or quiet, like one lying down to rest.

Layverb

To have sex with.

Lieverb

(legal) To be sustainable; to be capable of being maintained.

Layverb

(nautical) To take a position; to come or go.

to lay forward;to lay aloft

Lieverb

(intransitive) To give false information intentionally with intent to deceive.

When Pinocchio lies, his nose grows.If you are found to have lied in court, you could face a penalty.

Layverb

(legal) To state; to allege.

to lay the venue

Lieverb

(intransitive) To convey a false image or impression.

Photographs often lie.Hips don't lie.

Layverb

(military) To point; to aim.

to lay a gun

Lieverb

(intransitive) To succeed or excel at lying; lie successfully; show one's expertise or mastery in the art of lying.

Wow, that boy can really lie!

Layverb

(ropemaking) To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them.

to lay a cable or rope

Lieverb

To be mistaken or unintentionally spread false information.

Sorry, I haven't seen your keys anywhere...wait, I lied! They're right there on the coffee table.

Layverb

(printing) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.

Lienoun

(golf) The terrain and conditions surrounding the ball before it is struck.

Layverb

(printing) To place (new type) properly in the cases.

Lienoun

(disc golf) The terrain and conditions surrounding the disc before it is thrown.

Layverb

To apply; to put.

Lienoun

(medicine) The position of a fetus in the womb.

Layverb

To impose (a burden, punishment, command, tax, etc.).

to lay a tax on land

Lienoun

An intentionally false statement; an intentional falsehood.

I knew he was telling a lie by his facial expression.

Layverb

To impute; to charge; to allege.

Lienoun

A statement intended to deceive, even if literally true; a half-truth

Layverb

To present or offer.

to lay an indictment in a particular county;to lay a scheme before one

Lienoun

Anything that misleads or disappoints.

Layverb

when pertaining to position.

The baby lay in its crib and slept silently.

Lienoun

a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth

Layverb

(proscribed) To be in a horizontal position; to lie (from confusion with lie).

Lienoun

Norwegian diplomat who was the first Secretary General of the United Nations (1896-1968)

Layverb

To don or put on (tefillin phylacteries]]).

Lienoun

position or manner in which something is situated

Laynoun

Arrangement or relationship; layout.

the lay of the land

Lieverb

be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position

Laynoun

A share of the profits in a business.

Lieverb

be lying, be prostrate; be in a horizontal position;

The sick man lay in bed all daythe books are lying on the shelfWe had to stand for the entire performance!

Laynoun

A lyrical, narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets that often deals with tales of adventure and romance.

Lieverb

originate (in);

The problems dwell in the social injustices in this country

Laynoun

The direction a rope is twisted.

Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.

Lieverb

be and remain in a particular state or condition;

lie dormant

Laynoun

(colloquial) A casual sexual partner.

What was I, just another lay you can toss aside as you go on to your next conquest?

Lieverb

tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive;

Don't lie to your parentsShe lied when she told me she was only 29

Laynoun

(colloquial) An act of sexual intercourse.

Lieverb

have a place in relation to something else;

The fate of Bosnia lies in the hands of the WestThe responsibility rests with the Allies

Laynoun

A plan; a scheme.

Lieverb

assume a reclining position;

lie down on the bed until you feel better

Laynoun

the laying of eggs.

The hens are off the lay at present.

Laynoun

(obsolete) A layer.

Laynoun

A lake.

Laynoun

A ballad or sung poem; a short poem or narrative, usually intended to be sung.

Laynoun

(obsolete) A meadow; a lea.

Layadjective

Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.

Layadjective

Not belonging to the clergy, but associated with them.

They seemed more lay than clerical.a lay preacher; a lay brother

Layadjective

(obsolete) Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.

Laynoun

a narrative song with a recurrent refrain

Laynoun

a narrative poem of popular origin

Layverb

put into a certain place or abstract location;

Put your things hereSet the tray downSet the dogs on the scent of the missing childrenPlace emphasis on a certain point

Layverb

put in a horizontal position;

lay the books on the tablelay the patient carefully onto the bed

Layverb

prepare or position for action or operation;

lay a firelay the foundation for a new health care plan

Layverb

lay eggs;

This hen doesn't lay

Layverb

impose as a duty, burden, or punishment;

lay a responsibility on someone

Layadjective

concerning those not members of the clergy;

set his collar in laic rather than clerical positionthe lay ministrythe choir sings both sacred and secular music

Layadjective

not of or from a profession;

a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease

Comparison Chart

LayLie
A verb which means to put or place a person/object down in an even positionA verb which means to recline or to rest on a surface, with back supported
Pronunciation
leɪlʌɪ
Kind of Verb
Transitive VerbIntransitive Verb
Indicates
An action in progressA person's position
Action
Applied on the thingApplied on your self

Lay vs. Lie

Lay and Lie are a pair of words. They have different spelling, and different pronunciation. Lay and lie have very different meanings. Lay means “to put or place.” lie means “to rest,” “to assume or be situated in a horizontal position.” Lay refer to putting something down in a horizontal position. The lie is used to place in a horizontal position. It has one more meaning, which is to make an untrue statement. (A second verb ‘to lie means’ to deceive, or to pass off false information as if it were the truth.) An example to clear the prior concept is, John, laid the laptop on the table and lay on the couch. In this example, laid (simple past form of the verb ‘lay’) is used to mean that the laptop is placed on the table. Whereas, lied (simple past form of the verb ‘lie’) which means that the subject rests on the couch. This need to be clear that in case of lay, you lay something down. But in case of a lie, you lie down. Hence, lay requires a direct object. A lie does not require a direct object. This rule also applies to lay and to lie (not lieng). The verb lay is a transitive verb, as there is a direct object following it. The word ‘lie’ is an intransitive verb, as it does not have any direct object.

What is Lay?

We use the word ‘lay’ to put or place an object in an even position, i.e., to arrange something in a horizontal position. The verb lay is a transitive verb; hence, it always requires a direct object. It describes an action done to something, so it must have a direct object, i.e., something or someone has to be receiving the action of the verb to lay. As the meaning of this verb “to place,” “to put” is revealing that there is something in the sentence must be getting “put” or “placed.” Lay means to put an object or a person down in a flat position. When we use to lay in a sentence, it means that we are putting down an inanimate object. The verb lay represents an action that is under progress. The past tense of lay is laid. The verb to lay is conjugated with the direct object in each sentence.

Examples

  • SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE: I lay my mobile phone on the table every night before turning out the lamp.
  • CONTINUOUS PRESENT TENSE: I am laying my mobile phone on the table right now.
  • PAST TENSE: I laid my mobile phone on the table last night.
  • FUTURE TENSE: I will lay my mobile phone on the table tonight.
  • PAST PERFECT TENSE: I have laid my mobile phone on the table every night for years.

What is Lie?

The word lie refers “to be” or “to move in a reclining or resting position on a surface,” i.e., sofa, bed, floor, or any other object. Lie means “to assume or be situated in a horizontal position, to rest. The lie is used to place in a horizontal position. It has one more meaning, which is to make an untrue statement. (A second verb lie means to deceive or to pass off false information as if it were the truth.) A lie does not require a direct object. The word ‘lie’ is an intransitive verb, as it does not have any direct object. Lie shows some action. The subject of the sentence involves in that action, but nothing is being acted upon (it has no direct object). The verb ‘to lie’ does not express the kind of action that can be done to anything, such as the meaning “to recline” or “to rest.” It is also used in different meanings. These are to set something in the flat position, to produce eggs, to risk something, usually as a bet, to make a plan, and to make a claim, blame or accuse someone in a formal manner. The examples for these are, he laid the files on the desk, hen lay eggs, he would not win that game, I would lay thousands on it, are you aware of the allegations laid on you.

Examples

  • SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE: I lie here on this couch every day.
  • CONTINUOUS PRESENT TENSE: I am lying here on this couch right now.
  • PAST TENSE: I lay here on this couch
  • FUTURE TENSE: I will lie here on this couch
  • PAST PERFECT TENSE: I have lain here on this couch every day for years.
Conclusion

Lay and lie are two words with similar meaning. But the close study of these words reveals that they are different from each other.