Some Troublesome Verbs.
Lie and lay in use and
260. Some sets of verbs are
often confused by young students, weak forms being substituted for correct,
Lie and lay need close attention. These are
The distinctions to be observed are as follows:—
(1) Lie, with its forms, is regularly
intransitive as to use. As to meaning, lie means to rest, to
recline, to place one's self in a recumbent position; as, "There lies
(2) Lay, with its forms, is always
transitive as to use. As to meaning, lay means to put, to place a
person or thing in position; as, "Slowly and sadly we laid him down."
Also lay may be used without any object expressed, but there is still a
transitive meaning; as in the expressions, "to lay up for future use,"
"to lay on with the rod," "to lay about him lustily."
Sit and set.
261. Sit and
set have principal parts as follows:—
Notice these points
of difference between the two verbs:—
(1) Sit, with its forms, is always
intransitive in use. In meaning, sit signifies (a) to
place one's self on a seat, to rest; (b) to be adjusted, to fit;
(c) to cover and warm eggs for hatching, as, "The hen sits."
(2) Set, with its forms, is always
transitive in use when it has the following meanings: (a) to put
or place a thing or person in position, as "He set down the book;"
(b) to fix or establish, as, "He sets a good example."
Set is intransitive when it means (a)
to go down, to decline, as, "The sun has set;" (b) to become
fixed or rigid, as, "His eyes set in his head because of the disease;"
(c) in certain idiomatic expressions, as, for example, "to set
out," "to set up in business," "to set about a thing," "to
set to work," "to set forward," "the tide sets in," "a
strong wind set in," etc.