Lay and lie are always confusing. For instance, both words can be used to describe the picture above.
1. He lays himself on the bed.
2. He lies on the bed.
What makes them differ?
Lay is a transitive verb, which means that it must be used with a direct object. The past tense of lay is laid.
- Every day I lay the book on the table.
- Yesterday I laid the book on the table.
- I have laid the book on the table many times.
- I am laying the book on the table right now.
In all these examples, the verb is a form of the word "lay," and the direct object is "book."
Lie is an intransitive verb, which means it cannot have a direct object. The past tense of lie is lay.
- Every night I lie down.
- I lay down last night.
- I have lain down many times.
- I am lying down right now.