Facets Of Fiction

Lie/Lay, Set/Sat Quick Notes


For the life of me I can never get these two straight, so here is my quick reference:

Lay, Laid, Laying, Lays: to place, to set down, slang: to have sex

Lie, Lay, Lain, Lying, Lies: to be horizontal, to recline

Lie, Lied, Lying, Lies: to tell untruth


set, set, setting, sets: To put in a specified position; place

sit, sat, sitting, sits: (1) To rest with the torso vertical and the body supported on the buttocks. (2) To lie or rest: Dishes were sitting on a shelf.

Usage Note: Originally set meant “to cause (something) to sit,” so that it is now in most cases a transitive verb: She sets the book on the table. He sets the table. Sit is generally an intransitive verb: He sits at the table. There are some exceptions: The sun sets (not sits). A hen sets (or sits) on her eggs.

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