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Lay, lie, sit and set

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Marcos Martinez

on 4 March 2014

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Transcript of Lay, lie, sit and set

Please Sit Up, Don't Just Lie There!
Remember, you
down when you
your butt down;
And don't forget the Golden Goose only
her golden eggs after
To Lie or to Lay, To Set or to Sit

These are the errors that haunt your English teacher and give him grammar-mares!

But what is the difference between these confounded, similar-looking words?
Let's find out!

-To sit means
to take a seat
. (Simple enough.)

-To set means
to place
, as in an object.
Let us start with the easiest of the two sets of common verb errors, SET and SIT.
These are easy to differentiate because they have completely different definitions.
For example, we would say, "Please
your books down on the desk before you
Or, "I will
at my desk after I
my books on the shelf.
Let's Practice!
1. Beyonce did not ______ for three whole hours during her last concert.
2. In 2011, Adele ______ fire to the rain.
3. Did you ______ your drink down on a coaster before you went to ______ and play video games?
Good job, everyone!
But now comes the tough couple of
misused and abused verbs,
Lay and Lie.
These are more difficult because they share roughly the same definition.

On top of the similar definitions, it is also possible to use the word
when we use the verb
in the
For example,
"The snow from the polar vortex lay on the sidewalk all month."

Or, to get really crazy with it, here are both verbs,

"As I lay me down to sleep, I think of the snow that lay all this week.
-To Lay is to
(a thing) in a horizontal position

-To Lie is to
in a horizontal position

The biggest phrase we all use mistakenly
(but won't ever again) is:
"I'm going to go
down." Because you are you, and you are acting upon yourself, you are going to go
Ultimately, what we want to recognize is the difference in how we use the words in the present tense, and that there is a difference in how you and I lie versus how you and I lay. Lie means that either a person or animal (an actor) is doing something to himself.
Lay, on the other hand, means that the actor is acting on something or someone else.
Let's Practice!
1. Jay Z went into the studio to ______ down some beats.
2. After that 3 hour concert Beyonce had to _____ down.
3. Will you _____ down the doggie bed so the dog can ______ still?
Great Job, Everyone!
Full transcript