Lay and Lie Exercise (143)

Choose the correct form of the verbs to lay (place) and to lie (recline) in the following sentences.

  • The skeleton had _____ there for nearly twenty years.

  • When he was finished with the toys, he _____ them all back on the shelf.

  • I watched the children as they _____ down for their naps.

  • Whenever you are ready, you can _____ the table for dinner.

  • My father swerved to avoid the dog _____ in the road.

Answers and Explanations

1. The skeleton had lain there for nearly twenty years.

The verb is to lie (recline). The past participle is have/had lain.

2. When he was finished with the toys, he laid them all back on the shelf.

The verb is to lay (place). The simple past is laid.

3. I watched the children as they lay down for their naps.

The verb is to lie (recline). The simple past is lay.

4. Whenever you are ready, you can lay the table for dinner.

The verb is to lay (place). Lay is used in the expression "to lay the table." Following the auxiliary can, the verb form is the infinitive: "You can (to) lay the table."

5. My father swerved to avoid the dog lying in the road.

The verb is to lie (recline). The present participle of lie is lying.

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