Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Battle of Words

This post is pretty much for myself because it seems like I have to look up whether to use "lay" versus "lie" every single time {or spend 15 minutes trying to re-word the sentence to completely avoid using it...not exactly the most efficient use of my time}.  Plus, a little grammar review never hurt anyone, right? 

Lay Versus Lie


  • Lay: to place or put

    • Present tense: Please lay your bag on the table.
    • Past tense: I laid the baby down in his crib.
    • Present Participle (with am/is/are): I am laying the papers on your desk.
    • Past Participle (with has/have/had): I have laid my clothes on the bed.

  • Lie: to rest or recline

    • Present tense: I'm going to lie down for a nap.
    • Past tense: I lay down for bed at 8:30 last night. 
      • This one is the trickster because the past tense of lie is the same as the present tense of lay. Plus, many people {including meincorrectly use laid as the past tense for lie in it may sound right even though it is grammatically incorrect.  
    • Present Participle (with am/is/are): The kids are lying on the floor while watching a movie.
    • Past Participle (with has/have/had): I had lain in bed for an hour and was still wide awake.
  • Tip: Substitute "place" for "lay" or "lie" in a sentence. If it makes sense, use "lay." If it doesn't work, use "lie." 
  • Test your lay/lie knowledge with this quiz.

Set Versus Sit


  • Set: to put or place {similar to "lay"}

    • Present tense: Please set your bag on the table.
    • Past tense: I set the baby down in his crib.
    • Present Participle (with am/is/are): I am setting the papers on your desk.
    • Past Participle (with has/have/had): have set my clothes on the bed.

  • Sit: to be seated or come to a resting position

    • Present tense: You may sit wherever you'd like.
    • Past tense: I sat in the front row.
    • Present Participle (with am/is/are): They are sitting near the door.
    • Past Participle (with has/have/had): had sat in the same place for hours.

Which grammar rules are hard for you to remember?

Disclosure:  I sincerely apologize for any grammatical errors in this (or any other) blog post.  I try to carefully proofread before I publish, but I find that I am sometimes blind to glaringly large mistakes simply because I've looked at it too many times.  Please let me know if you find mistakes in my posts.  I'll be very grateful to you...after I've corrected it!  :)


  1. haha this is great and I feel the same way! (I think these little grammar sesh's are needed for a lot of folks out there girl- ex: your and you're)

  2. Is this why you are always correcting your mother?

  3. YES. Also, I never know if I should use grey or gray - is it just a spelling difference, or meaning too?

  4. Lay vs. lie is one that I'm pretty sure I mess up all the time. But I don't really know because I can never remember the right way to use the words, haha! Thanks for this!

  5. LOVE this! I just had to look up affect vs. effect. I can never remember!