Laying vs. lying – which is correct?

“Placing something down flat” is this a definition of laying or lying? “Being in a flat position on a surface” – what about this definition? Laying and lying are tricky. How to use them properly? Read the text to find the answer!

Laying vs lying Which form is correct meaning definition correct form examples

Laying vs. lying – which form is correct?

Both laying and lying are correct but it doesn’t mean that you can use them interchangeably. You cannot do that, because laying and lying have different meanings. Luckily, there is no incorrect form in this article!

What’s the meaning of the word laying?

Laying is the gerund or present participle form of the word lay. Laying means putting something in a flat or horizontal position, usually gently or carefully, for a particular purpose. According to the Collins dictionary, laying can also be a noun meaning fitting, preparation before meal, or setting down. Laying can be used as an adjective, in the context of producing eggs (“I guess the hen will be laying eggs soon!”).

Lying – what does it mean?

Lying is the gerund or present participle form of the word lie. What’s more, it goes for both verbs spelled that way: lie meaning to tell an untruth and lie which means to recline. It’s not lieing – beware of spelling!

Laying vs. lying – what’s the key difference between these two words?

Laying always requires a direct object because it describes an action which is done to something. Lying doesn’t require a direct object. When it comes to the verbs ending with -ie, we have to replace those letters with -y. Lielying is one of the examples. The same rule applies to the words tie – tying, diedying, and vievying.

What are the synonyms of the word laying?

  • Putting down,
  • setting down,
  • placing,
  • situating.

How to say lying differently?

  • Misleading,
  • dissembling,
  • double-dealing.

Laying vs. lying – it’s all clear! Examples from literature

  • “I have done everything I can for Bran,” she said, laying a wounded hand on his arm.”
    George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
  • “They got under way slicing ham, laying out fried chicken, shaking paprika on the deviled eggs.”
    Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
  • “The engine was almost to where I was lying.”
    Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms
  • “His hat and gloves were lying on the table.”
    Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

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Graduate of English philology. Currently a student of internet marketing. She previously worked as a shopping assistant, associate consultant and kindergarten English teacher. Currently working as a copywriter. Privately mother of two children. Loves reading books and spending time actively.