laid, lain

laid, lain
Laid is the past tense and past participle of lay. Lain is the past participle of Choice between laid and lain, therefore, depends upon which verb is involved. The primary meaning of the verb lay is "to set down," "to put or place in a horizontal position." Lay implies both a subject (an active agent) and an object: "The girl laid the book on the table." "The storm had laid the grain flat." The verb lie has two basic meanings,"to make a false statement" and "to be in a prostrate position." When a falsehood is involved, the principal parts are lie, lied, lied: "I lie today." "I lied yesterday." "I have lied every day this week." When lie is used in its second meaning, the principal parts are lie, lay, lain: "I lie down." "I lay down yesterday." "I have lain down every day this week." Lay always takes a direct object; lie never does. These sentences reveal correct uses of laid and lain and other forms of lie and lay: "She laid the towel on the bed." "She has lain in bed for three days." "The pen is lying on the desk." "Laying wallpaper is difficult work." "The doctor lies down every day after lunch." "This hen lays lots of eggs." "The garbage has lain there for a week." "Bill enjoys lying in bed on a rainy day." "The dinner table was laid for six people." "Are you lying down on the job?" "The river lies between two hills; it has lain there for centuries." See also lay.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • lain — laid, lain Laid is the past and past participle of lay, whereas lain is the part participle of lie. See lay, lie …   Modern English usage

  • laid — laid, lain Laid is the past and past participle of lay, whereas lain is the part participle of lie. See lay, lie …   Modern English usage

  • lain — See laid, lain …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • laid — See laid, lain …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • Lain — Lie Lie, v. i. [imp. {Lay} (l[=a]); p. p. {Lain} (l[=a]n), ({Lien} (l[imac] [e^]n), Obs.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Lying}.] [OE. lien, liggen, AS. licgan; akin to D. liggen, OHG. ligen, licken, G. liegen, Icel. liggja, Sw. ligga, Dan. ligge, Goth. ligan …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • lie — lay, lie These two words cause confusion even to native speakers of English because their meanings are related and their forms overlap. Lay is a transitive verb, i.e. it takes an object, and means ‘to place on a surface, to cause to rest on… …   Modern English usage

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