Lay vs. Lie

Lay vs. Lie

We’re tackling one of the less obvious grammatical foibles today. Did you know that there is a difference between lay and lie? Because there is! Let’s explore.

Other than the definition of “to tell an untruth,” lay and lie are often used interchangeably. But lay is a transitive verb, meaning it requires a subject and one or more objects. Lie, on the other hand, is an intransitive verb, which means that it doesn’t need an object.

So if you wanted to say that you (the subject) lay on the floor (the object) in the fetal position all day yesterday, that’s correct. If you said that you lay in said position all day regularly, that would be wrong.

How to Use Either, Neither, Or, and Nor Correctly

How to Use Either, Neither, Or, and Nor Correctly

My mother seems to appreciate having a grammar lover in the family. For Christmas one year, she bought me the book I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. (By the way, it is equally correct to say “bad grammar.”) Last week, my mother emailed to ask if she was using the word “nor” correctly, which brings me to today’s post: the use of either, neither, and the connecting words that go with them.

How Are You? Good vs. Well

How Are You? Good vs. Well

When someone asks you, “How are you?” how should you respond? Should you say, “I’m good,” or, “I’m well?” Which is correct grammatically: good or well.

Since “how are you?” became a standard greeting, the use of good vs. well has been hotly disputed. Let’s straighten this confusion out.

Grammar Quandary: Affect Versus Effect

Grammar Quandary: Affect Versus Effect

We previously explored then and than, and now we’re diving into another pair of words that trip up many a blogger. Prepare to venture into the conflict between affect and effect.

The primary rule of thumb when it comes to affect and effect is the following:

Affect is a verb.

Effect is a noun.

Knowing this will generally get you through most confusion between these two words. Effect is occasionally used as a verb, as a synonym for “to cause/bring about.” However, it’s not as commonly used as the noun form and is still not interchangeable with “affect.”