Why do people from the US say "lay" when they mean "lie" (as in ... down)?

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  1. tonymac04 profile image73
    tonymac04posted 13 years ago

    Why do people from the US say "lay" when they mean "lie" (as in ... down)?

  2. ThatFranzKid profile image61
    ThatFranzKidposted 13 years ago

    Because Americans are stupid and lazy.

    Hey, I'm -one- of them and I think that. smile

  3. wyanjen profile image71
    wyanjenposted 13 years ago

    It's completely Eric Clapton's fault.

    "Lay down, Sally, and rest you in my arms.
    Don't you think you want someone to talk to?
    Lay down, Sally, no need to leave so soon.
    I've been trying all night long just to talk to you."

  4. profile image53
    gryffonposted 13 years ago

    Actually it isn't wrong. The verb 'to lay' means to put in a horizontal position, which is what you do when you lay down. The verb 'to lie' means pretty much the same thing, so I guess, ultimately, it's just a matter of preference.

  5. Springboard profile image82
    Springboardposted 13 years ago

    You say tom(ay)to, I say to(ma)to. One person says b(ay)gel, another says b(a)gel.

    In this particular case I think it is a matter of preference. I think it also depends on its placement in a sentence. For example, many people use both (thee) and (the), spelled "the" in either pronunciation, in regular conversation. "Thee" is most commonly used when its placed at the beginning of a sentence, and the regular "the" is spoken in middle parts of a sentence.

  6. Mit Kroy profile image73
    Mit Kroyposted 13 years ago

    This is one explanation given in part by "Grammar Traps".

    "Lie" is, in this context, a verb meaning to recline. It does not take an object. Its principal parts are "lie," "lay," "lain," and "lying."

    Examples: Every night I lie down. I lay down last night. I have lain down many times. I am lying down right now.

    So, it is supposed to be used in a pas tense manner; now as to why we use it incorrectly. If you do something long enough, (and this will include other countries as well) it will become an accepted expression; Ain't is a fine example, once thought to be improper ( and still is),  it made it's way into the dictionary.

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