There are three tricky verbs in English which often get confused; these are lie (regular verb), lie (irregular verb) and lay. Let's study them!
Lie (reg) = Mentir
This is an intransitive verb (a verb with no direct object).
Lie Lied Lied Lying
Examples: If Pinnocchio lies, his nose grows.
Si miente Pinocho, se crece la nariz.
Pinnochio lied to his father, Gepetto.
Pinocho mintió a su padre, Gepetto.
If Pinnochio hadn't lied, his nose wouldn't have grown.
Si Pinocho no hubiera mentido, no se habría crecido la nariz.
It's easy to know when Pinnochio is lying.
Es fácil de saber cuando se está mintiendo Pinocho.
Lie (irreg) = Tumbarse
This is also an intransitive verb and is often used as the phrasal verb, lie down.
Lie Lay Lain Lying
Examples: My cat often lies on my bed.
Mi gato se tumba a menudo encima de la cama.
My cat lay down on my bed and fell asleep.
Mi gato se tumbó encima de la cama y se echó a dormir.
My cat has lain there all afternoon.
Mi gato ha estado tumbado ahí durante toda la tarde.
My cat is still lying there.
Mi gato está tumbado ahí todavía.
Lay = poner
This is a regular, transitive verb (a verb with a direct object).
Lay Laid Laid Laying
Examples: I have to lay the table.
Tengo que poner la mesa.
The hen laid an egg.
La gallina puso un huevo.
The table still hasn't been laid.
La mesa no se ha puesto todavía.
The hen is laying another egg.
La gallina está poniendo otro huevo.
To sum up, lie and lie are both regular and irregular verbs which are intransitive. They also share the same -ing form, lying. Lay is a regular, transitive verb but it is also the irregular past of lie (tumbarse). Not sure what I'm talking about? Look again.
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