Lying down or laying down?


He was seen [laying or lying] down near the window.

Which is it? Laying is usually used with an object.

harry Wong

Posted 2015-10-28T02:16:17.097

Reputation: 113



He was seen laying down near the window.

You can use laying here as present tense, if he was seen in the process getting on the bed when the observation (He was seen) was made.

He was seen lying down near the window.

He was already on the bed when the observation (He was seen) was made.


Posted 2015-10-28T02:16:17.097

Reputation: 29 679

This doesn't seem right to me. "To lay" is transitive. The only sense I can make of "laying down near the window" involves duck feathers. – Dawood ibn Kareem – 2016-07-27T01:57:24.030

Well I would say non-standard but not wrong. lay "'lay down' 4. Nonstandard To lie down."

– user3169 – 2016-07-27T02:34:56.350


if you treat lay as the past tense of lie, then lying should not be used. The word lay itself means to put something down, so using lay this way is not correct.

the correct one is "He was seen lying down near the window."


Posted 2015-10-28T02:16:17.097

Reputation: 740

5Note that even native speakers often get this pair of words confused. – 200_success – 2015-10-28T03:03:41.020

Yep, this is very common. – Nihilist_Frost – 2015-10-28T03:11:19.170