Tag Archive: grammar

Where do you lie with lay and lie?

When Bob Dylan sings “Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed,” his lyrics are ungrammatical. But aside from a handful of people who take perverse joy in pointing these things out, no one cares. After all, he’s Bob Dylan and has artistic license on his side. Also, many people don’t understand the difference between ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ anyway.

What about you? Do you know the difference? Unless you’re a famous singer-songwriter or are writing dialogue (in speech people mix up ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ a lot, so it’s more forgivable), you need to know the difference. Because even though some people won’t notice, to others you’ll look less professional. Getting it right is just one more way of looking like you know what you’re doing, especially when you’re writing for a reputable publication in your field.

I came across a handy chart on this random Tumblr blog that shows the difference between ‘lay’ and ‘lie.’

Lay vs. Lie

Still confused? Lay aside your worries and lie down for a nice, long nap while a professional writer handles these things for you.

– Hila