Laying or Lying. Learn how to use them correctly here.

Laying vs Lying – Difference

Laying Vs Lying In English: A Simplified Explanation

Lying is generally used to mean the act of reclining horizontally and can also refer to a condition in which somebody stays in bed or reclines. Laying is the most common term for propping something up, such as laying out an object on a table. You can find explanations for these terms in this article, along with diagrams to illustrate the differences between these words

What is the difference between Laying and Lying in English?

The major difference between these two words is that “laying” is always used transitively, whereas “lying” can be either transitive or intransitive. To lay something down means to put it in a horizontal position. For example, you might lay a book on the table or lay your keys on the counter. On the other hand, when you lie down, you are the object that is being moved into a horizontal position. Additionally, when you lie to someone, you are not physically moving anything – you are just telling them something that isn’t true.

Grammar Rules Regarding Laying and Lying in English

The English language has a lot of confusing grammar rules. One rule that often confuses people is the correct usage of “laying” and “lying.” Both words are present tense verbs, but they have different meanings. “Laying” means to put something down, while “lying” means to recline. Here are some examples of correct usage:
I am laying the book on the table. (putting down)
I am lying on the bed. (reclining)
Here are some tips to remember the difference between these two words:
-To lay something means to place it somewhere. You can lay anything-a book, a blanket, etc.
-Remember, lie/lay both mean recline when used alone as a verb (I am lying on the bed), but only lay works with an object (I am laying the blanket on the bed).
-The word lie can also be used as a noun meaning falsehood or deception (That was a lie!).
-Lay is always used as a verb. It cannot be used as a noun or adjective.
-Lie does not need an object, but lay does.
One of the most common mistakes people make when using the words ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ is to use them interchangeably. However, these two words actually have different meanings and should be used correctly in order to avoid confusion.
-I need to lay the table for dinner.
-Can you lay your coat on the bed?
-The cat likes to lay in the sun.
On the other hand, the word ‘lie’ is also a verb but it has a different meaning; ‘to recline or rest’. For example:
-I’m going to lie down for a while.
-She likes to lie in the sun.
-The baby is lying in his crib.

As you can see, both words can be used when referring to a person or an animal, but they have different meanings. It is important to use them correctly in order to avoid confusion.


Why it Matters When You Use If You Use the Wrong One

If you use the wrong word when you’re speaking or writing, it can change the meaning of what you’re trying to say entirely. This is especially true with words that have similar meanings, like “laying” and “lying.” While these words may seem interchangeable, they actually have very different meanings and uses. If you use the wrong one, it can drastically change the meaning of what you’re trying to communicate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between “laying” and “lying”:
Laying refers to the act of putting something down. For example, you might say, “I’m going to go lay down for a nap.”
Lying, on the other hand, refers to reclining or being in a horizontal position. You might say, “I was lying in bed when I heard a noise outside.”

Now that we know the difference between these two words, let’s look at why it matters if you use the wrong one.

If you use “laying” when you should be using “lying,” it can completely change the meaning of what you’re trying to say. For example, imagine you tell your friend that you’re going to go lay down for a nap. They might think you’re going to put something down (like a book or a piece of clothing), when in reality you just want to take a nap. Using the wrong word in this situation could cause some confusion (and possibly amusement) on


Now that you know the difference between laying and lying in English, try to use these words correctly in your own sentences. Remember, lay is a transitive verb, so it must have an object, whereas lie is intransitive and does not take an object. With a little practice, you’ll be using these words correctly in no time!

2 thoughts on “Laying vs Lying – Difference

  1. Pingback: Having a Plan vs Strategy | Learn Laugh Speak

  2. Pingback: Cancelled vs. Canceled | Learn Laugh Speak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Keep up to date with your English blogs and downloadable tips and secrets from native English Teachers

Learn More