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VERBS > Active Voice > Passive Voice > Conjugation > Defective Strong Verbs > Mood > Imperative Mood > Indicative Mood > Subjunctive Mood > BE (usage) > CHOOSE (usage) > Person/Number (usage) > SHALL/WILL (usage) > Strong Verbs > Tense > Transitive > Troublesome Verbs > Weak Verbs

Some Troublesome Verbs.

Lie and lay in use and meaning.

260. Some sets of verbs are often confused by young students, weak forms being substituted for correct, strong forms.

Lie and lay need close attention. These are the forms:—

Present Tense. Past Tense. Pres. Participle. Past Participle.
1. Lie lay lying lain
2. Lay laid laying laid

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 the ruin."

(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:—

Present Tense. Past Tense. Pres. Participle. Past Participle.
1. Sit sat sitting sat
2. Set set setting set

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.


VERBS > Active Voice > Passive Voice > Conjugation > Defective Strong Verbs > Mood > Imperative Mood > Indicative Mood > Subjunctive Mood > BE (usage) > CHOOSE (usage) > Person/Number (usage) > SHALL/WILL (usage) > Strong Verbs > Tense > Transitive > Troublesome Verbs > Weak Verbs