Which of these is correct?


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Thread: Which of these is correct?

  1. #1
    Member PSFoster's Avatar
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    Which of these is correct?

    I have a real problem with laying, lying, lay, laid, etc. Which of these would be correct?

    The ground was laying under three inches of snow.
    The ground was lying under three inches of snow.

    Or should I just say Three inches of snow covered the ground?
    I'm too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed.

  2. #2
    Member Waste.'s Avatar
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    I would write "The ground lay beneath three inches of snow"
    Which is neither of your suggestions...
    We'll fly
    together forever.
    Until I remember
    gravity.

  3. #3
    Member Ilasir Maroa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waste. View Post
    I would write "The ground lay beneath three inches of snow"
    Which is neither of your suggestions...
    This.
    "A plot-driven story is anything with a plot." ~BS
    All lines are arbitrary; otherwise, we wouldn't have to draw them. ~Nicholas Vesiri

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Waste. View Post
    I would write "The ground lay beneath three inches of snow"
    Which is neither of your suggestions...
    The reasoning behind this is ...
    Lying suggests an active participation in what is being done. In other words, YOU can lie down. The ground, being relatively inanimate, cannot.

    Laying, on the other hand, suggests someone (or thing) is actively placing something (in this case the ground) somewhere. Since the ground was, theoretically laid down a long time ago, YOU are not in a position to lay it anywhere.

    Lie means to recline, past tense laid, pp lain.
    Lay means to place, past tense laid, pp lain (hence most everyone's confusion)

    Ergo, Waste's suggestion is the most logical (as well as most eloquent) solution.

  5. #5
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    It also gets rid of 'was', the use of which is looked down upon by some.

  6. #6
    Member PSFoster's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you!
    I'm too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed.

  7. #7
    Twenty inches of snow covered the ground. Much more active. And deeper, too. Deep is a synonym of profound, right?

  8. #8
    Member Scarlett_156's Avatar
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    Yeah, the sentence is too passive the way it is originally and doesn't add anything to the narrative--except perhaps a small note of incongruity, as it leaves the reader sort of wondering at the image of the ground underneath 3 inches of snow.

    And remember: Don't trust the ground. The ground ALWAYS LIES!!!

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