English Vocabulary

Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

If you want the dictionary definition, just double click on any word.
lay vs lie

Lay is an irregular transitive verb (lay / laid / laid - laying). It needs a direct object. It means to put something or someone down (often in a horizontal postion).

For example: "Lay your head on the pillow."

Lie is an irregular intransitive verb (lie / lay / lain - lying). It does not take a direct object. It means to rest in a horizontal position1 or to be located somewhere2.

For example: "If you are tired lie here and have a rest."1
"Nottingham lies in the Midlands."2


!Lie also means to say something that isn't true but it takes the following form (lie / lied / lied - lying).

!To lay can also describe a chicken or other animal who produce eggs. The hen laid two eggs this morning.


Confusing Words