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Laying vs. Lying: What’s the Difference between Lying vs. Laying?


Laying vs. lying! These words can cause quite a bit of confusion, especially because they are used in roughly the same context. There’s one key difference between them, though, which will help you remember how to use them correctly.

Laying vs. Lying

Both these words are the gerund or present participle form of a verb: laying from to lay and lying from to lie. Lay is pretty straightforward, it means to place something down. Now, lie can mean multiple things, one of them being “an intentionally false statement”. The other meaning is “to be in or assume a horizontal or resting position on a supporting surface” and this where the confusion arises from.

When to Use Laying

You use laying when you talk about putting something down.


  • My favorite chicken isn’t here because it’s laying eggs at the moment.
  • They are laying new sewers along the road.
  • They were busy laying the drains for the new houses.

Learn more about the difference between Lay vs. Lie.

When to Use Lying

You use lying when you talk about false statements or when you talk about someone or something that is in a horizontal position.


  • He’s been lying so much that I stopped trusting him.
  • I love lying in bed on my days off.
  • lying on a sunny beach is my idea of sheer bliss.

Tips for Using Lying vs. Laying

To remember the difference just think about activities humans do: they lie about being busy, while in reality, they have been lying in bed all day.

Laying vs. Lying Examples

  • They are laying pipes under the road.
  • The builders are still laying the floorboards.
  • They are laying green paint on the wall and white paint on the ceiling.
  • The project involved laying an oil pipeline across the desert.
  • Most reptiles reproduce by laying eggs on land.
  • She was lying on a small settee in the parlor.
  • The body was lying on the kitchen floor.
  • He was lying on the sofa watching TV.
  • I found the wallet lying in the grass.
  • I don’t want to hear you lying to me any more.

How to Use Lying vs. Laying in Sentences | Image

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What’s the Difference between Laying vs. Lying?

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