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  1. #1
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    Aug 2001
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    "Lies" or "lays"... which one is correct?

    I am having a brain fart here which not even google could solve. But which sentence below is correct?

    "The shredded paper lies in the garbage can".

    "The shredded paper lays in the garbage can".


  2. #2
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    Misuse of lay vs lie has been a problem for centuries.

    I was starting to write about transitive vs intransitive verbs, but I'll just say that number 1 is correct.
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  3. #3
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    So #1 wins, that's what I thought.

    I have never had a problem with "their" vs "there" and "your" vs "you're" for example.

    But this one made my brain freeze up

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    So #1 wins, that's what I thought.

    I have never had a problem with "their" vs "there" and "your" vs "you're" for example.

    But this one made my brain freeze up
    I am no expert in this language as its not programming. Frosty is correct, i think the first one makes much sense.

  5. #5
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    Number 1 makes more sense.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2008
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    neither make any sense i would like to c a third option falls into the garbage can
    shredded to me is a term for an action.
    lets simpler fies it . you c that thar pieces of papur its in that thar can.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2001
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    huh???

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    England, UK
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    First one for me.
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2004
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    Found a pretty informative article:
    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com...ersus-lie.aspx
    Closed for winter...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,250
    It's a good idea, when even you as the author are not sure which is correct or sounds better, to instead rewrite the sentence so that it's clearer to all.

    Depending on the specifics of what you want to say, you might be better off with one of the following:
    • I shredded the paper and put it in the garbage can.
    • The paper in the garbage can has been shredded.
    • It's okay if the paper stays in the garbage can for a week, because it has been shredded.
    • etc.
    In other words, rewrite to capture your specific meaning, and say it as simply as you can so readers don't get confused.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    First you lay the shredded paper in the garbage can.
    Then the shredded paper lies there.

    Referring to the task in the immediate past, having just completed it, you have laid the paper in the garbage can. Referring to the time the paper has recently spent in the garbage can, it has lain there.

    Referring to this in the less immediate past tense, you laid the paper in the garbage can, and then the shredded paper lay there.
    Last edited by Disgruntled; 03-29-2008 at 09:38 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    4,861
    Actually another one I really have problems with is:

    "Please bare with us".

    "Please bear with us".

    I used to use bare and then used bear... but then got so irritated by those two words I stopped using them in that sentence completely

    NOTE: Now "lies" and "lays" can also join the graveyard.

  13. #13
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    The first one looks like more fun.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    "Please bare with us".
    Sometimes that's preceded by
    "Please beer with us."

  15. #15
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    A "bear" is an animal. The word you should be using is "bare," I believe.

  16. #16
    I think # 1 is the correct one.

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