June 23, 2007


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Danny Barer

Then there's a verb like "rent," which can refer either to allowing a person to use your property for a fee, or using someone else's property for a fee.

randy Johnson

Talking about loan/lend reminded me of an incorrect usage I've heard on TV a number of times lately. Someone will be suing a person for payment of a loan on one of the Judge shows. They'll say, "I borrowed them the money and now they won't repay it." I cringe every time I hear that.

Burl Barer

You lay down the book you’ve been reading, but you lie down when you go to bed. In the present tense, if the subject is acting on some other object, it’s “lay.” If the subject is lying down, then it’s “lie.” This distinction is often not made in informal speech, partly because in the past tense the words sound much more alike: “He lay down for a nap,” but “He laid down the law.” If the subject is already at rest, you might “let it lie.” If a helping verb is involved, you need the past participle forms. “Lie” becomes “lain” and “lay” becomes “laid”: “He had just lain down for a nap,” and “His daughter had laid the gerbil on his nose.”


All these years of you telling me the loan vs lend thing and it isn't even true! Next you will tell me that Mom's lay vs lie thing also is just picky fiction ;)

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