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how can you differentiate these words: lie, lay, laid, lain
20. Nov 2014 11:09
Answers · 7
They are three different verbs involved here: Lie - not to tell the truth (Past simple/past participle: lied/lied ) Lie - an intransitive verb, meaning to stretch out your own body horizontally (Past simple/past participle: lay/lain) Lay - a transitive verb, meaning to put down carefully (Past simple/past participle: laid/laid) These verbs can be confusing. In certain accents, it can be hard to tell whether person is saying 'lie' or 'lay'. The other problem is that many native speaker use the second two verbs incorrectly. But even with these two levels of confusion, you should always be able to tell from the context what the speaker actually means.
20. November 2014
Wendy has a good point. There are far too many people here who do not appear to be making any effort whatsoever. If you are not looking in a dictionary or consulting a verb chart before asking such questions, you are not making an honest effort. People love helping others, if they try to help themselves first. I have been living and teaching in Asia for 20 years, so I know that there is no lack of learning/studying resources here.
20. November 2014
I'm sure other people will answer here... so I'll just say that any good grammar book or dictionary will give you the differences between the verb TO LAY and the verb TO LIE... and their various (CONFUSING) past tenses and past participles. Actually, there are many native speakers who get confused too... because they are so confusing!
20. November 2014
Just to make you feel better: these verbs, lie and lay, especially in the past tenses, may be the most difficult verbs to get right in English. Focus on Su.Ki's answer for the basic differences in the words' meanings and usages.
20. November 2014
Language Skills
English, Vietnamese
Learning Language