+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: When to use lie/laid/lied?

  1. #1
    Registered User yearning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,943

    Default When to use lie/laid/lied?

    In spirit of the other thread, when do you use the past tense of "lie" (as in lie down)? Is it "she had laid there for hours" or "she had lied there for hours" or "she laid there for hours"?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    624

    Default

    The word 'lied' is the past tense for the word 'lie' in the sense someone says something untruthful. It has nothing to do with lying down or anything of that matter.

    The past tense of the "lie" you are looking for is "lay": She lay there for hours.

    For the past perfect tense, however, it should be "lain": She has lain there for hours.

    For your information, the word "laid" is used as the past tense of the *other* meaning of the word "lay", i.e. to place something in a reclining position: They laid the chicken drumstick on the table.
    Last edited by Pacifian; 12-24-07 at 01:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    21,567

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yearning View Post
    In spirit of the other thread, when do you use the past tense of "lie" (as in lie down)? Is it "she had laid there for hours" or "she had lied there for hours" or "she laid there for hours"?
    This one gets many people, but fundamentally, it's not really that hard.

    First, let's talk about the source verbs: "lie" and "lay."

    For this discussion, "lie" does not mean "to not tell the truth" (which has its own protocols that I'll discuss later), but "to rest" or "to be still." Here's how to conjugate this version of "lie":

    Present Tense:

    Today, I lie here.
    Today, you lie here.
    Today, he/she/it/Joe/Jane/ lies here.
    Today, we lie here.
    Today, they lie here.

    Past Tense:
    Yesterday, I lay here.
    Yesterday, you lay here.
    Yesterday, he/she/it/Joe/Jane lay here.
    Yesterday, we lay here.
    Yesterday, they lay here.

    Present Participle:

    I have lain here since yesterday.
    You have lain here since yesterday.
    He/She/It/Joe/Jane has lain here since yesterday.
    We have lain here since yesterday.
    They have lain here since yesterday.

    Past Participle:

    I had lain there for an hour before Bob arrived.
    You had lain there for an hour before Bob arrived.
    He/She/It/Joe/Jane had lain there for an hour before Bob arrived.
    We had lain there for an hour before Bob arrived.
    They had lain there for an hour before Bob arrived.

    Progressive:

    I am lying here right now.
    You are lying here right now.
    He/She/It/Joe/Jane is lying here right now.
    We are lying here right now.
    They are lying here right now.

    Present Perfect Continuous:

    I have been lying here for hours.
    You have been lying here for hours.
    He/She/It/John/Jane has been lying here for hours.
    We have been lying here for hours.
    They have been lying here for hours.


    Now that takes care of "lie."

    "Lay" is a different sack of potatoes altogether. "Lay" means "to put down" or "to set down." You need to do it with your hand (or some other device), and you always need an object to lay down. For example:

    Present:

    I lay my pen on the desk.
    You lay your pen on the desk.
    He/She/It/John/Jane lays his/her/its/John's/Jane's pen on the desk.
    We lay our pens on the desk.
    They lay their pens on the desk.

    Past:

    I laid my pen on the desk.
    You laid your pen on the desk.
    He/She/It/John/Jane laid his/her/its/John's/Jane's pen on the desk.
    We laid our pens on the desk.
    They laid their pens on the desk.

    Present Participle:

    I have laid my pen on the desk.
    You have laid your pen on the desk.
    He/She/It/John/Jane has laid his/her/its/John's/Jane's pen on the desk.
    We have laid our pens on the desk.
    They have laid their pens on the desk.

    Past Participle:

    I had laid my pen on the desk before you came into the room.
    You had laid your pen on the desk before I came into the room.
    He/She/It/John/Jane had laid his/her/its/John's/Jane's pen on the desk before I came into the room.
    We had laid our pens on the desk before they came into the room.
    They had laid their pens on the desk before we came into the room.

    Progressive:

    I am laying my pen on the desk right now.
    You are laying your pen on the desk right now.
    He/She/It/John/Jane is laying his/her/its/John's/Jane's pen on the desk right now.
    We are laying our pens on the desk right now.
    They are laying their pens on the desk right now.

    Present Perfect Continuous:

    I have been laying these pens on the desk all day.
    You have been laying these pens on the desk all day.
    He/She/It/John/Jane has been laying these pens on the desk all day.
    We have been laying these pens on the desk all day.
    They have been laying these pens on the desk all day.

    Now, just to confuse things a little more, let's consider the *other* definition of "lie" - meaning "to not tell the truth":

    Present:

    I lie about my weight.
    You lie about your weight.
    He/She/It/John/Jane lies about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight.
    We lie about our weight.
    They lie about their weight.

    Past:

    I lied about my weight.
    You lied about your weight.
    He/She/It/John/Jane lied about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight.
    We lied about our weights.
    They lied about their weights.

    Present Participle:

    I have lied about my weight.
    You have lied about your weight.
    He/She/It/John/Jane has lied about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight.
    We have lied about our weights.
    They have lied about their weights.

    Past Participle:

    I had lied about my weight, but the doctor learned the truth.
    You had lied about your weight, but the doctor learned the truth.
    He/She/It/John/Jane had lied about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight, but the doctor learned the truth.
    We had lied about our weights, but the doctor learned the truth.
    They had lied about their weights, but the doctor learned the truth.

    Progressive:

    I am lying about my weight right now.
    You are lying out your weight right now.
    He/She/It/John/Jane is lying about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight right now.
    We are lying about our weights right now.
    They are lying about their weights right now.

    Present Perfect Continuous:

    I have been lying about my weight.
    You have been lying about your weight.
    He/She/It/John/Jane has been lying about his/her/its/John's/Jane's weight.
    We have been lying about our weights.
    They have been lying about their weights.


    ...

    I think I need to lie down now after all that.

  4. #4
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,894

    Default

    When it refers to sex, 'laid'. Everything else is variable; that rule is solid.

    Damn I'm good
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  5. #5
    Senior Member yittz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,946

    Default

    It's good to have Ken clearing things up. I find people who are brought up in foriegn countries don't think about grammer - they just use it based on experience ie listening to others.

    Maybe we can have one grammer/english thread.
    Member of HYS fanclub -> click here to join group.

    Member of TC fanclub.

  6. #6
    Registered User yearning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,943

    Default

    Thanks Pacifian and Ken, that was very helpful =)

  7. #7
    Senior Member LuNaR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    a place full of raymond fan, HELP!
    Posts
    6,585

    Default

    so according to the rule, laid can only be used when an object was laid down, so why do we use laid for sex?
    SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 2010 and 2012 CHAMPS

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,375

    Default

    Ah, this is also the one I never get! Basically the tricky part about it is that past tense "lie" is "lay"?

    This is making me think of the Snow Patrol song "Chasing Cars" - "If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me?" Should it be "lie here"? But that sounds weird! Plus you have the "if" so shouldn't you use conditional tense? Is "lay" also the unreal conditional for "lie"? Like in "if I had time" the "have" changes to "had," which is also the past tense?

    And when I saw this topic with the "laid" in it, I knew we were in for sex talks! You know in French "laid" means ugly? Don't get laid folks!
    I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know? -Ernest Hemingway

  9. #9
    Senior Member ghostdarTeal'c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Currently in Moss, Silver. Next stop....still Moss, Silver
    Posts
    4,330

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yittz View Post
    It's good to have Ken clearing things up. I find people who are brought up in foriegn countries don't think about grammer - they just use it based on experience ie listening to others.

    Maybe we can have one grammer/english thread.
    True, very true. And i cant believe how little of understanding i have on both words

    well, good thing we have an english teacher around

    oh, and yes to the grammar thread, we should have one of those around here. Something like, Ken's Grammar clinic or something

  10. #10
    Senior Member sarakoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Where DO I live?
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    so according to the rule, laid can only be used when an object was laid down, so why do we use laid for sex?
    Well . . . when you 'get laid', you usually end up on a flat surface of some sort hence, 'an object(in this case a person) is laid down'.

Similar Threads

  1. Wan Yan Hong Lie
    By flyingfox2002 in forum Wuxia Fiction
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 06-24-08, 03:51 PM
  2. Hips Dont Lie Spoof
    By Kiss7 in forum Music
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-19-06, 11:45 PM
  3. My Hips Don't Lie
    By aznxpride in forum Music
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-21-06, 10:56 AM
  4. Any hero that never lied?
    By PJ in forum Wuxia Fiction
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-04-05, 03:41 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts