Do You Suck at Lying?

Are these guys lying on the bed or laying on the bed?

Which is it? Because I totally mess this up. Often. Just when I think I have it–I don’t.

I guess you could say I suck at LYING. (Which is a good thing. I think.)

Since I struggle with this I thought you might, too.

To LAY means to put or place something down; to LIE means to rest.

Since these cute adorable pooches are resting I’d say they’re LYING on their left sides. Wouldn’t you?

Here’s why I get confused. The past tense of LIE is LAY. Huh? Sheesh, could our language get any more confusing?

Hence, if I wrote the above sentence in PAST tense it would be: Yesterday, these cute pooches were laying on my bed.

The following examples are also correct:

The dogs LAY awake all night.

Let them LIE there.

They have LAIN down to rest.

If you haven’t visited the Grammar Girl’s website check it out here: Grammar Girl. She has a nifty little chart you can keep handy that’ll help remind you of the LIE versus LAY rules and others.

Are you proficient at LYING?



Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address:


  1. Thanks for the website link. Through the years I’ve felt especially sorry for non-English speakers learning our language as we’ve borrowed words from so many other languages and have so many exceptions, it is muy complicado.

    • I agree, Dee. Our language is so difficult and many times makes no sense. We adopted a little girl from Russia many years ago, and when she was little and I’d use an idiom (piece of cake, break a leg, funny farm) she’d cock her head to the side, and give me the deer-in-the-headlight look. She still has difficulty with them. But when you think of the phrases in literal terms, they are funny!

Please share your random thoughts.


Thank you for stopping by!