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Habla inglés con el Método Callan en Barcelona - Callan Method

Lie, Lie and Lay

Above are three verbs which often get confused with one another. This happens because not only do they sound similar but only one of them is a regular verb whilst the others are irregular. It’s important to know the difference especially when using them in writing.

Some examples:

To lie (irregular) means to be in a horizontal position. Its three forms are ‘lie, lay, lain.

She said she wasn’t feeling well and was going to lie down.

She lay on the couch for an hour.

She had lain on the couch for an hour , before she decided that she would go to bed.


To lie (regular) means to not tell the truth. Its three forms are ‘lie, lied, lied’.

To avoid getting into trouble when I was a child, sometimes I had to lie.

I didn’t want to tell my mother where I’d been, so I lied.

They had lied about where they had been yesterday.


To lay (irregular) means to put something on a surface. Its three forms are ‘lay, laid, laid’


Lay those books here.

He laid the knives and forks on the kitchen table.

They’d laid their clothes on the bed.

D. Lindsay