Liar, Layer, Lawyer, Lower, Lie and Lay lie or
To lie, a liar, he’s lying.
Lawyer – law (to break the law)
Layer (capa) a layer cake, layers in photoshop
Lower – the comparative of ‘low’
Lie and lay
To lie and to tell a lie. Lie also means to recline (tumbarse, echarse)
Lay requires a direct object and lie does not. So you lie on the bed (no
direct object), but you lay your phone on the table (the phone is the
‘I’m going to lie down’ (no object)
Things get tricky in the past tense:
‘Lay’ is the past tense of ‘lie’ – tumbarse/echarse, but NOT ‘lie’-
mentir. ‘I lay down on the bed because I wasn’t feeling well.’
Lie – lay – lain (Yesterday I lay on the beach until the sun went down)
(Be quiet! Mum’s lying down) (I have lain on this bed many times)
Lay – laid – laid (‘Yesterday I laid my cards on the table told my boss
what I thought of her.’)
Which of these lyrics is/are wrong?
Bob Dylan – Lay lady lay, lay across my big brass bed (wrong! It should
be ‘Lie lady lie’)
ABBA – Lay all your love on me (Correct!) – ‘Lay it on me, man!’ (lay
the truth on me – ‘the truth’ is the object.
Kris Kristofferson – Come and lay down by my side. (Wrong! It should be
Eric Clapton – Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms (Wrong! It
should be ‘lie down, Sally’)
In practice, many native speakers confuse “lie” and “lay”.
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