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moth
03-06-2007, 11:12 PM
I looked for a thread about this and didn't see one, so if I missed it, I'm sorry...I didn't mean to clog up the forum. :)

Anyway, which one of these is right:

and a cylinder lying on its side
and a cylinder laying on its side

The way I first wrote it was 'lying on its side' but then I started second-guessing myself. Thanks in advance for any help! :)

Duncan J Macdonald
03-06-2007, 11:26 PM
I looked for a thread about this and didn't see one, so if I missed it, I'm sorry...I didn't mean to clog up the forum. :)

Anyway, which one of these is right:

and a cylinder lying on its side
and a cylinder laying on its side

The way I first wrote it was 'lying on its side' but then I started second-guessing myself. Thanks in advance for any help! :)
You were right the first time. From The American Heritage Book of English Usage (http://www.bartleby.com/64/C003/0192.html):

Here’s how to keep them straight. Lay is a transitive verb—it takes an object. Lay and its principal parts (laid, laid, laying) are correctly used in the following examples: She lays down her pen and stands up. He laid (not lay) the newspaper on the table. The table was laid for four. Lie is an intransitive verb and cannot take an object. Lie and its principal parts (lay, lain, lying) are correctly used in the following examples: She often lies (not lays) down after lunch. When I lay (not laid) down, I fell asleep. The rubbish had lain (not laid) there a week. I was lying (not laying) in bed when he called.

moth
03-07-2007, 01:47 AM
Thank you!

ErylRavenwell
03-07-2007, 03:33 AM
Lay, laid, laid, laying means to place. For instance, he lays a book on the table. (requires an object)

Lie, Lay, lain, lying means to be in the horizontal position. It doesn't require an object.

He lies on the ground.

Pagey's_Girl
03-07-2007, 04:28 AM
The easiest way to remember it, according to a former English teacher, is that the phrase "getting laid" is not grammatically correct...

moth
03-07-2007, 02:36 PM
Lay, laid, laid, laying means to place. For instance, he lays a book on the table. (requires an object)

Lie, Lay, lain, lying means to be in the horizontal position. It doesn't require an object.

He lies on the ground.


The easiest way to remember it, according to a former English teacher, is that the phrase "getting laid" is not grammatically correct...
These are awesome, thank you. :D

But one thing's still confusing me -- isn't 'laid' past tense of 'to lie'? As in, "he laid next to her" or "he laid her on the bed"? Those sound right to me but if they're wrong then I need to change a few of them in my WIP.

Thank you so, so much for the help. :)

Judg
03-07-2007, 11:12 PM
But one thing's still confusing me -- isn't 'laid' past tense of 'to lie'? As in, "he laid next to her" or "he laid her on the bed"? Those sound right to me but if they're wrong then I need to change a few of them in my WIP.
In both cases you should have used "lay", which is the simple past form of "lie" and probably the reason why there is so much confusion between the two verbs.

Eryl laid out all the forms for you in order: infinitive, simple past, past participle.

Lay, laid, laid, laying means to place.

Lie, Lay, lain, lying means to be in the horizontal position.

Laid is the past of lay, not lie.

A similar pair of verbs is fall/fell. Fell in the sense of felling trees.

maestrowork
03-07-2007, 11:35 PM
This must be one of the most confusing word(s) in English. This question comes up almost every few months.

ErylRavenwell
03-08-2007, 09:26 AM
This must be one of the most confusing word(s) in English. This question comes up almost every few months.

Still confuse the hell out of me at times. That's why I never miss an opportunity to reply so as to refresh my memory. :)

ErylRavenwell
03-08-2007, 09:35 AM
In both cases you should have used "lay", which is the simple past form of "lie" and probably the reason why there is so much confusion between the two verbs.

Eryl laid out all the forms for you in order: infinitive, simple past, past participle.


Laid is the past of lay, not lie.

A similar pair of verbs is fall/fell. Fell in the sense of felling trees.

Judg, the second example is correct. It should be "laid" not "lay". "He laid her" means "he placed her". "her" is the object, "lie" doesn't require an object. In the e.g "He lay on the bed", "on the bed" is not an object since it is not modified by the verb.



Good that you bring fall/fell pair into the argument. As a reminder to those interested (and to myself :)):

Fall, fell, fallen, falling means to drop to the ground. (Used without object)

Fell, felled, felled, felling means to knock down.

E.g He felled the horseman with a well-aimed bullet.

blacbird
03-08-2007, 09:58 AM
The easiest way to remember it, according to a former English teacher, is that the phrase "getting laid" is not grammatically correct...

No. But lying about it is.

caw

moth
03-08-2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks so much everybody. Especially thanks for bringing up fall/fell -- I'd never realized that about them because those I can keep straight for some reason.

And Eryl I totally know what you mean about how explaining something refreshes your own memory. :) Thanks again everybody!

Little Red Barn
03-08-2007, 05:27 PM
Thanks for bringing this up Moth :)

Akuma
03-08-2007, 05:53 PM
Here's a good explanation, credit a la Grammar Girl.

http://archive-b01.libsyn.com/podcasts/7731794fe4fe1866944a8eb6ca32efa7/45f0150b/absolutescience/grammar037_lay.mp3

moth
03-09-2007, 12:56 AM
Thanks Akuma, I'll definitely listen to that later on! (Short on time now :D)

Prawn
03-09-2007, 02:05 AM
Lying is intransitive

Laying takes a direct object, hopefully an attractive one.

Judg
03-09-2007, 09:18 PM
Judg, the second example is correct. It should be "laid" not "lay". "He laid her" means "he placed her". "her" is the object, "lie" doesn't require an object. In the e.g "He lay on the bed", "on the bed" is not an object since it is not modified by the verb.
Eryl, you are absolutely correct. Somehow I missed the word "her" in the second sentence when I read it. :e2hammer: