Common mistake lay (lie) around

Common Mistake: Lay (Lie) Around

One of the most common mistakes in English grammar is confusing the verbs "lay" and "lie". These two words are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings and uses.


The verb "lie" means to recline or rest in a horizontal position. It does not require a direct object. Here are a few examples:

  • After a long day at work, I like to lie on the couch and relax.
  • The cat likes to lie in the sunbeam coming through the window.
  • I lied on the grass and looked up at the stars.


The verb "lay" means to put or place something somewhere. It requires a direct object. Here are a few examples:

  • Please lay the book on the table.
  • I laid the baby down for a nap.
  • She laid the flowers on the grave.

Note that "lay" is the past tense of "lie". Many people mistakenly use "lay" when they actually mean "lie". For example:

  • Incorrect: I'm going to lay down for a while.
  • Correct: I'm going to lie down for a while.

Remember that "lay" requires a direct object, while "lie" does not.

Linguix Grammar Checker: The Linguix grammar checker can help you identify and correct mistakes like confusing "lay" and "lie". It provides detailed explanations and suggestions to improve your writing accuracy.

lay (lie) around mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    All he did Sunday was lay around the house.

    All he did Sunday was lie around the house.

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