Sometimes You Must Lie.

Nobody likes a liar, but there are times when the subject of your sentence should lie. If you sleep, you lie in bed, not lay in bed. (Although the past tense would be lay).

“I need to lay down” prompts me to ask, “What do you need to lay down?”

It’s time to review the lay versus lie dilemma.

Lie is an action verb; lay requires an object. Here are the various tenses:

Lie, Lay, Lain

Lay, laid, laid

I laid in bed all morning is incorrect. I lay in bed all morning.

I laid my book on the nightstand.

I had laid the knife on the table.

I had lain in bed the previous morning.

The next time you debate whether to lay or lie, ask yourself who/what is receiving the action. Is it the subject or an object? If it’s the subject, use lie (or lay or lain); if it’s the object, use lay (laid).

And that’s no lie. 😉