There are many different ways to use the word "lay." Perhaps the most common use is similar to the verb "put."
- You can lay those boxes on the floor.
- You can put those boxes on the floor.
- We laid some carpet in the living room.
- We put some carpet in the living room.
You need to use an object after this verb because it’s transitive (a verb that requires an object).
- I laid my cards on the table. The word "cards" is an object.
- Joe has laid out some plans for his new project. The word "plans" is an object.
Here are some other examples for the verb "lay."
- A chicken lays eggs.
- A construction worker lays bricks.
- You can lay a bet if you like to gamble.
- Plans are laid when thinking about the future.
- Responsibilities are laid on our political leaders.
- People lay their hands on things and on other people.
- I can’t wait to lay my hands on the new iPhone.
- A table is laid for dinner. When you put down the plates, the forks, the knives, etc., you are laying the table.
He’s laying some bricks.
He’s a bricklayer.
There are few expressions that use the word "lay."
- He has to lay his cards on the table. (He has to prove that he has something or be honest about something.)
- Lay it on me. (Tell me what you want to say.)
Note: The words "lay" and "lie" are often confused.
to put down
to be false
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This page was first published on September 1, 2012. It was updated on April 22, 2016.