Lay vs. Lie
Deciding whether to use lay or lie is a tricky task for most people. But while the lay vs. lie rule isn’t necessarily well-known, it also isn’t overly complicated.
We only use the verb “lay” when the verb has an object, something to act upon. “Lay” is a transitive verb, which means it must have a direct object. Something must be laid down: a person, an object, or an idea.
“Lie,” on the other hand, doesn’t need a direct object. So you can lay the cards on the table, but you lie in bed.
Past tense does get slightly more complicated. The same general rule applies: Lay requires a direct object, and lie does not. But the past tense of “lay” is “laid,” and the past tense of “lie” is “lay.”
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