1. dandan33 New Member

    Can anyone give me a hand with this sentence, I'm writing a report and I'm not sure about this:"Survey crews found new wood poles lying on the ground beside existing poles" Lying or Laying?


  2. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    ... lying ....

  3. i heart queso Senior Member

    San Francisco, California
    English, Canada
    To my lovely English ear they have the same meaning, yet I would choose "lying".

    I need to research this more, I think... ;)
  4. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    It's clearly "lying." "To lie" is an intransitive verb: I lie down. "Lay" is transitive: Hens lay eggs.

    Adding to the confusion: lay is also the past tense of lie: Yesterday I lay down, but the hen laid an egg.
  5. MonaArg Senior Member

    Hi, everybody!
    Quick rule:
    lie-lay-lain-lying + place--->He's lying on the floor.
    And... lie is pronounced like die.

    lay-laid- laid-laying + object --->Lay your hand on the bible.
    And... lay is pronounced like say.

    Of course, there's lie, as in: to tell a lie

  6. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    "Laid" used as an intransitive verb in the simple past as x "he laid in bed for a week" x, is, alas, gradually usurping the traditionally correct "he lay in bed for a week" to the extent that the latter, correct, version has begun to sound rather posh (high class) even to the ears of the well educated. It is now heard in the mouths of many who really should know better, such as sometimes on the BBC, and I have even heard a teacher of English use it and protest with annoyance that he was right, when I tactlessly pointed the error out to him in the belief that an English teacher should just not do that.
    "Lain", the past participle of "to lie", as in "she has lain in bed all morning" is also in danger of extinction. For some reason, even those who are aware of the correct form seldom seem to need it. Ask yourself, if a native or near-native speaker, when was the last time you said or heard "I have/she has lain in bed/asleep etc."? It's pretty rare now if it wasn't before. I think that "laid" is used grammatically incorrectly for "lay" even more in the USA, in contrast so much keener on "whom" than we Limeys, (and Canada too, apparently) than it is in British English, and it is probably American pop songs, and especially "Country and Western" -of which I am very fond - and films, which are the among the main culprits, assuming that one thinks in such terms. Admittedly, the solecism also occurs in British dialects e.g. Cockney: " The poor ol' sod jus' laid dahn an' died". A further increasingly common mistake is the misspelling of "laid" as x"layed"x , which I have even seen on a classroom blackboard, written by a different English teacher: poor little mistreated verb!
  7. chimita Senior Member

    Chile Spanish
    Por favor corríjame alguien si me equivoco...
    Lay: lo más parecido en castellano es PONER
    lie: Acostarse.
    Entonces, laying sería para poner algo (se usaría como un objeto) y lying para recostarse????????
    Si no es así, entonces estoy muy confundida
  8. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Sí, más o menos, aunque hay más acepciones para cada palabra y el uso es un poco más complejo.

    En sumo (aunque como ya dije, la situación es un poco más compleja):

    lay + objeto ( verbo transitivo)
    lie (verbo intransitivo)

    Espero que te sirva. :)
  9. chimita Senior Member

    Chile Spanish
    Sí, me sirve, gracias! :)
  10. Lovie Banned

    USA English
    So is it just a matter of choosing the one that matches your audience? Like a British audience vs. an American audience? Were the English teachers from the USA? If they were British, I'd think they would have used the correct rules.
  11. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    The teacher in question was British of Irish extraction, who was far more interested in literature than the niceties of grammar. This is not meant to be a reflection on the Irish, however. Correct usage is the same on both sides of the Atlantic, but popular songwriters or singers, for instance, on whichever side are unlikely to observe it in their lyrics.
  12. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    In the intervening year and four months since this thread was opened, I have heard American voices saying only laying where I would say lying (see #6), and this usage has increasingly been taken up by well-educated Brits. "Has lain" seems entirely to have disappeared except in the reading of old texts, but it has been very rare anyway throughout my life. "The old order changeth yielding place to new", especially in English.

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