“to lie” – what do you mean?

26 Feb

“to lie” is one of those English words that can have two very different meanings, depending on how it is used:

1) to say something that is not true, or 2) to be in a horizontal position.

This chart will explain the difference. Notice that they are not the same in all tenses.

to lieSome people also have a problem with the difference between “lie” and “lay”. We talked about this in an earlier post – check it out here.

A few hundred years ago, there used to be two slightly different words for “to lie” (they came from two similar old German words), but over time they have become the same. If you know a bit of German, you can still see the original words there, and see that they are quite similar: The German “liegen” means to be in a horizontal position, and “lügen” means to say something that is not true.

 

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2 Responses to ““to lie” – what do you mean?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “Lie down” – revision | Hägar Language School - April 9, 2014

    […] “to lie” – telling untruths, or being in a horizontal position? […]

  2. Grammar 37-38-39-40-41 English – pif electro - December 2, 2016

    […] “to lie” – what do you mean? 38 […]

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