So here’s a post on arguably the most terrifying combination of verbs ever! Once you get it, it’s not that hard, but until then…it’s not going to be an easy ride. So let us begin by studying the chart below.
From the chart above, we can conclude the following:
1. “to lie” = mentir. It’s a regular verb, so you only have to add -d, as it ends in -e. This one’s the easy one.
2. “to lie” = tumbarse, estar tumbado, yacer. It’s an irregular verb. The most difficult things here are that:
– its infinitive and gerund forms are the same as in “to lie“(mentir).
– its past simple form, “lay“, coincides with the infinitive form of the verb “to lay“(poner)
3. “to lay something” = poner (la mesa), extender, colocar. It’s an irregular verb, although the spelling of the past simple, past participle and gerund forms are not difficult to remember. Also, as you can see, “to lay something” is the only transitive verb of the three, meaning that it “affects” an object (i.e. something)
Maybe it’s hard to memorise all of these forms together, but if you write them out in sentences, it will be easier. Let’s see some examples:
1. Don’t lie to me! = ¡No me mientas!
2. The book lay open on his desk. = El libro estaba abierto sobre su escritorio.
3. It’s usually me who lays the table at home. = Suelo ser yo el que pone la mesa en casa.
I hope these examples help you understand the difference in meaning between these tricky verbs.
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