Lay vs Lie - English Grammar - Teaching Tips


The two words "lay" and "lie" are often confused for each other, which is why we decided to break down the differences in this video. "Lay" is what is called a transitive verb. That means, it needs to be followed by one or more objects. A good example sentence would be "I lay the book on the table". As you can see, lay is followed by ""on the table"". We couldn't only say "I lay the book." as it would be incomplete. This means it is transitive. "Lie" on the other hand is an intransitive verb. That means it doesn't take an object, for example "I lie down". Most errors have to do with the past tenses of the two verbs, as the past tense of "lie" is "lay" while the past tense of "lay" is "laid".

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

This unit relayed the bare essentials that a teacher should know before attempting to cover past tense. It was not dissimilar to the present tense lesson. It also outlined some of the major mistakes that students make when attempting to learn about it. I do feel that the lesson could have contained more examples for the sake of clarity, but that aside, it showed the bare-bones structure of the concept. There isn't too much to say as it followed the same design as the present tense lesson, and totaled about six pages, worksheets and cover aside.