Three different verbs: to lay, to lie
and to lie
To lay is a verb that commonly means to put or place something or someone (a baby or yourself for instance) in a horizontal position or to place something somewhere. As an action verb it will have a direct object (something or someone that receives the action). If the verb expresses an activity and has a direct object it is called a transitive verb.
To lay - laid - laid (laying).
Similar to the Danish verb: at lægge - lagde - lagt.
Examples "to lay":
Fold the blanket and lay it on the sofa.
To lie is a verb that often describes an animal or person being in a horizontal or resting position or a thing being kept in a certain place. It cannot take a direct object and is neither an action nor a transitive verb - hence called an intransitive verb.
To lie - lay - lain (lying)
Similar to the Danish verb: at ligge - lå - ligget.
Examples "to lie":
down (resting, now).
The confusing bit is that the past tense of "to lie" is "lay", which is the infinitive and makes the present tense of "lay" - remember this.
To lie -
lied - lied (lying) means not to tell the truth but a made-up version or
story. It is a regular verb (the basic form
"lie" conjugated by adding -ed, but in this case only the -d as
it already ends on an -e). The "ie" is changed to "y" when you add the