Commonly misused words in English: TO LIE

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To lieThe verb to lie means to recline – »He lies on his bed all day long.« It’s an intransitive verb, so it isn’t followed by a direct object. The correct tenses are lies, lay, has lain, is lying.

But the verb can also mean to not tell the truth – “He lies about where he goes.” The verb tenses are: lies, lied, has lied, is lying.

And if this seems tricky, many people confuse the verb to lie with to lay, which means to set something down – “She lays a book on her desk.” The tenses are: lays, laid, laid, is laying.

1 The water bed I ____________________ on at the furniture store yesterday is the funniest bed I have ever ____________________ on.

2 I know you are ____________________ because you are not looking at me.

3 I was looking for my mobile phone, trying to remember where I had ____________________ it down.

4 The teacher asked Tom why he had ____________________ to his parents about his grades.

5 Do you prefer to do exercises sitting down or ____________________ on the floor?

6 I felt dizzy so the nurse advised me to ____________________ down.

(Adapted from Current, April/May 2016)

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