Tying or tieing – which form is correct?

When you are fastening your shoes into a neat bow, what are you doing: are you tying or tieing them? You may feel so confused that you would rather use some Velcro straps instead. Keep the loops up; there is just one correct form of the verb, and you are going to learn about it here.

Tying or tieing? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form difference examples Correctme.org

Tying or tieing – which form is correct?

Tying is the only correct present participle of the verb tie. Confusingly, however, the past tense and past participle form of the verb is tied. In the case of tying, there is a change of its root vowel when the ending –ing is added.

Other verbs, which behave similarly to tietying, are diedying and lielying.

Tie – tying — the meaning

The verb tie has several meanings. It is ‘to fasten two ends of a long material together’, or ‘to form a knot or a bow’. You can also speak about tying when forming a relationship or bond, especially in the context of marriage. To tie means also ‘to restrain from freedom, e.g. by authority or obligation’. Plus, tie is ‘to equalise a score of a game’.

Let us see some examples of tying in a sentence.

Tying or tieing – now it’s all clear! Examples from literature

Often when we think we are knotting one thread, we are tying quite another.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, 1862

‘Are we still tying bows?’ Sadie-Grace sounded hopeful as she sat down beside me at the senator’s dining room table. ‘I only have three things in life that I am truly gifted at, and one of them is tying bows.’

Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Little White Lies, 2018

Tying — idioms

There are a handful of popular phrases, which use the word tie / tying. Let us get familiar with some of them:

  • tie the knot — to get married
  • tie one on — to get drunk
  • tie somebody up in knots — to make someone confused, upset or worried
  • tied to your mother’s/wife’s apron strings — disapprovingly of a man strongly influenced by his mum or spouse
  • someone’s hands are tied — the person is restricted and unable to do something they want

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Passionately in love with English — a romance initiated by reading Tolkien’s books that finally lead her too far, and now she is an English philology graduate. She loves learning, especially when it comes to languages. Interested in visual arts, history and DIY.