Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Laid and Lay

Laid vs Lay

Verbs are subject to conjugation, the process by which they are altered according to the person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, or voice in which they are being used. This is done to make sure that the verb that is used in a sentence or phrase always agrees with its subject or object.

There are many ways that a verb can be conjugated. Most are formed by adding -ed, -d, and -t to form their past tenses and adding -ed and -en to form their past participle tenses, but others, such as irregular verbs, undergo spelling changes to form their past tenses. An example of this is the irregular verb “lay.”

“Lay” is a word that is used to refer to the act of putting or placing someone or something in a particular position. It may also refer to the imposition of a punishment or burden, sitting down for rest or sleep, as well as bringing to a specific condition. It is a transitive verb and requires a subject and an object or several objects. Examples are the following sentences:

“Every night, before going to bed, he takes the baby from the crib and lays her down on the bed.”

“You cannot lay the burden of caring for your siblings on me.”

“Please lay the bottle of wine gently down on the table.”

“Lay” is also the infinitive form of the verb, meaning it is its basic form which can also be formed by adding the word “to.” Examples are:

“I told him to lay the eggs in the basket, but he placed them in the refrigerator instead.”

“Marla did not ask me to lay the table but I did it anyway.”

The word “lay” comes from the Old English word “lecgan” which means “to place on the ground.” It, in turn, came from the Proto-Germanic word “lagjanan” which means “to place or put.”

The word “laid,” on the other hand, is the simple past tense and the past participle tense of the word “lay.” Examples are the following sentences:

“I was surprised when he laid a hand on my shoulder”. (Simple past tense)

“He laid the contents of his wallet on the table including the money inside.” (Simple past tense)

“The duck has not laid an egg for almost one month now.” (Past participle tense)

“By the time I got there, he had already been laid to rest.” (Past participle tense)


1. The word “lay” is the infinitive form and the present tense of the verb which means “the act of putting or placing someone or something in a particular position” while the word “laid” is its simple past tense and past participle tense.
2. The word “lay” comes from the Old English word “lecgan” which means “to place on the ground” and from which the word “laid” also originated.
3. The word “lay” is used when referring to an action that is being done while the word “laid” is used to refer to an action that has already been done.

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