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lie vs lay - help please!

(8 Posts)
thumbwitch Thu 03-Sep-09 15:42:39

never mind the vocab, someone please help with the grammar!
"there are myriad diseases whose aetiologies lie in complex networks"

Should it be lie? Or should it be lay because it's a plural? Lie looks more right but I need to be sure...

Seeline Thu 03-Sep-09 15:45:25

I think lie (although heaven only knows what the sentaence means!). Lay is the past form of lie isn't it? You're speaking in the present tense.

Bettymum Thu 03-Sep-09 15:46:49

I would say lie. The diseases lie, they don't lay.

thumbwitch Thu 03-Sep-09 15:47:39

that's what I thought - ta lots!

amicissima Sun 13-Sep-09 22:26:04

There are three possible verbs here:

1) To lie (tell untruths) - present: I lie, he lies, they lie; past: I lied, he lied, they lied.

2) To lie (be horizontal) - present: I lie, he lies, they lie; past: I lay, he lay, they lay.

3) To lay {transitive verb, ie, has to be followed by an object} (to set down) - present: I lay {the table, an egg}, he lays, they lay; past: I laid, he laid, they laid.

BitOfFun Sun 13-Sep-09 22:27:38

Or more passive- I got laid etc wink

TeamEdward Sun 13-Sep-09 22:33:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RamblingRosa Wed 23-Sep-09 08:56:30

Amiccisima's right. It's lie in your example. DP seems to get it wrong every day ("Are you going to lay down?" to DD). It drives me up the wall!

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