Daily Archives: August 6, 2008

Grammar Wednesday

Alternately titled: The Post that Came to Me Already Written.

Here’s the email that CTG (re)sent to me with his question about the differences between lay and lie.  I don’t think that I need to add anything to it, do you?

My dear Mrs. Chili,

Sort out the verbs lie (to recline) and lay (to place or put in a recumbent position) for us, please. I submit these three sentences for your consideration:

“So I lay down the board and got on with my life.” (Careless in Red by Elizabeth George)

Mac slipped the Uzi off his shoulder and lay it on the ground. (The Remnant by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins)

Mac lay in the dewy grass next to the jeep… (The Remnant by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins)

All three of these sentences are copied verbatim from the novels cited. In only one of them is the correct form of the verb lie or lay used. Which is it?

Now I shall lay me down to sleep while you sort this out!



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Hold, Please…

A Grammar Wednesday is forthcoming, though we might not get to it today.

California Teacher Guy (who is in direct competition with Kizz for the title of most stalwart supporter of this little weekly feature) sent me an email last week asking me to review the differences between “lay” and “lie.”  In his email, he included three examples of the words being used – only one of them was used correctly – and asked for us, GW readers, to determine which was right.

Like a dolt, I’ve somehow managed to misplace that email, so I’ve asked him to resend it.  Grammar Wednesday is awaiting his reply; please check back later….

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