Laying in or on the bed

Laying in or on the bed? | Fix your English Grammar mistakes

by Oct 24, 2019English Grammar Tips, Smart Brains Spotlight

Laying in or on the bed

Sarah Madden

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Laying in or on the bed Smart Brains Spotlight


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Laying in or on the bed

 

 

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Laying in or on the bed The topic for today is “Laying in or on the bed“. Learning should be for life. Every moment of every day we are being presented with new and important lessons.

 

Which is correct, “laying in the bed” or “laying on the bed”? Only if you were a chicken could you use “laying” (an egg) as in “A chicken is laying eggs in the bed” as explained by Sarah.

 

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Dina Cehic
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Which is correct, “laying in the bed” or “laying on the bed”?

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Sarah Madden

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Laying in or on the bed? When to use each

Laying in or on the bed?

 

Laying in or on the bed  Answer by Sarah Madden (B.A. & M.A. from U. of Maryland, College Park and Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Md.), All credit goes to Sarah, Thank you!

Laying in or on the bed? When to use each
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Laying in or on the bed This post is search engine optimised (SEO) for maximum exposure and for higher rankings.

 
 

Fix your English GrammarLaying in or on the bed

 

 

Dear M. Anonymous,

 

 

Both “laying in the bed” and “laying on the bed” are incorrect because of the use of “laying” instead of “lying.” The verb “to lay” is a transitive verb that requires a direct object. The real issue is your verb, not the prepositions. The correct verb should have been “to lie,” which is an intransitive verb (i.e., it does not take a direct object).

 

For a chart I created of irregular verbs, scroll to the bottom.

 

Only if you were a chicken could you use “laying” (an egg) as in “A chicken is laying eggs in the bed” or “A chicken was laying eggs on the bed.” (To help us remember “lie versus lay,” my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Cannon in Utah, used to say: “Chickens lay [eggs] and people lie.”)

 

 

 

A chicken laid one brown egg in her nest today (but whose egg is that white one???), and she will be laying more eggs tomorrow. Regarding where she spends her time, she does not lie in the bed; she does not lie on the bed, and she certainly does not lay her eggs there, either.

source: pixabay — photographer: Pexels (English)

 

Laying in or on the bed  You could also use “lay” for anything else that needs to be placed somewhere, as in, “Please lay your books on the table.”

 

“Lay” can be used in the past tense (“laid”), as noted by Joe Smith in his 1 Nov. 2018 comment on this answer. Thanks, Joe!

  • “Eg 1: She laid the stack of clothes on the table.
  • “Eg 2: She laid her little daughter gently on the bed and kissed her forehead.”

 

 

Laying in or on the bed  If you meant a person in or on a bed, then you would use the verb “lie” (not “lay”) as in, “She is lying in the bed” or “She is lying on the bed.” Either preposition is okay, with slightly different nuances. See edits below for comments on the differences.

 

Also see: Sarah Madden’s answer to Do you deliberately lie out in the sun to tan?

—Sarah M. 10 Jan. 2018 (updated 9 June 2019)

 


 

15 May 2019 — I just discovered a young woman from Nigeria (Feyisayo Awosusi) has plagiarized the first part of my answer and posted it as her own on a website: TwibbaNetworks. Let the record stand, I wrote the original on 10 January 2018, and she copy-pasted the first part of my answer WORD FOR WORD over a year later, in April 2019. Should I be flattered, or enraged — or both? I reported her to the Twibba website for plagiarism. (I had never heard of Twibba before, but a reader alerted me in a comment below that he had read my answer on another website and thought I was the one who had committed plagiarism. This prompted me to do some digging, and I quickly discovered what had transpired.)

The plagiarist’s profile on TwibbaNetworks is: Feyisayo Awosusi

 

Laying in or on the bed  EDITS

 

As David Troughton wrote in a comment on my answer,

  • “Lying on suggests lying on top of the bedclothes.” “Lying in suggests having sheet and blankets or duvet pulled up over the top of you.”

 

As Sheila Mary Belshaw points out in a comment, it is never correct to use “laying” without a direct object (“Laying in or on the bed is very bad grammar. You lie on a bed. So lying on a bed or in a bed is the question. I think it should be lying on a bed. But never ever laying on a bed.”)

 

For a terrific cartoon of this very concept, go to Bruce Loving’s answer to Which is correct, “laying in the bed” or “laying on the bed”?

 

ORIGINAL QUESTION: Which is correct, “laying in the bed” or “laying on the bed”?

 

 

 

  Fix your English Grammar

Reference: Sarah Madden, “Which is correct, “laying in the bed” or “laying on the bed”?” originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Fix your English Grammar

If you think about it, our lives are an endless pursuit of answers and new questions. So how can YOU take action to ensure that your learning never comes to an end?

 

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