As you learned in the last lesson, "lie" means to be at rest, or to recline in a horizontal position. Its forms are: lie (present), lying (present/past progressive), lay (past), lain (participle). Examples: 1) Lie down. 2) Lying in the sun dries the skin. 3) The parcels lay on the table. 4) We have lain in the sun for thirty minutes.
Unlike "lie," "lay" is a transitive verb, so it always takes an object. Remember that "lie" never takes an object because it is intransitive. Its forms are lay, laying, laid, laid. Examples: 1) Lay the bricks here. 2) He was laying the bricks in rows. 3) Yesterday he laid the bricks ten high. 4) He has laid all the bricks in the wall.
Note that the present tense of "lay" is the same as the past tense of "lie."
Practice What You've Learned
Click to select the correct word usage in the following sentences.
(Lie) (Lay) those books on the shelf.
Are the hens (lying) (laying) eggs?
The hens (lay) (laid) six eggs yesterday.
The eggs (lie) (lay) in the nest for three hours before we gathered them.
We were instructed to (lie) (lay) the bricks in a row.
Have you (lain) (laid) the bricks on the first tier?
The bricks were (lying) (laying) on the pallet.
The bricks were (lain) (laid) in staggered rows.
Yesterday we (lay) (laid) five hundred bricks.
We called ourselves the brick-(lying)(laying) masons.
(Lying) (Laying) on the ground were pieces of brick.
When I returned home, I laid aside my work shoes and (lay) (laid) down for a nap.
My book still (lies) (lays) where I left it a week ago.
Our company is going to (lie) (lay) the groundwork for a big project.
These seeds will (lie) (lay) dormant for three years.
The city of Los Angeles (lies) (lays) south of Santa Barbara.
Our future (lies) (lays) before us.
The female salmon will (lie) (lay) thousands of eggs in a season.
(Lying) (Laying) on the rocks in the sun were two lizards.
Our study (lies) (lays) the groundwork for future success.