Difference between Laid and Layed

By: | Updated: Jul-20, 2021

Laid and Layed are two words that are often confused by people. Both of these words are very similar in their meaning and both of them have been derived from the same source. However, there is a slight difference between these two words and it is this difference that we will discuss in this article.

Summary Table

Laid Layed
Formal. Informal.
Intransitive. Transitive.
Means ‘to put something somewhere’. Means ‘to spread out or scatter.

Definitions

Difference between Laid and Layed

Before we go to the difference between these two words, it is important to understand the basic principle of grammar and tenses. Tenses are of different types. The most common ones are Present, Past and Future tenses. In English, there are two tenses that are used to denote past actions. One is Past Simple tense and the other is Past Continuous tense. When you use Past Simple tense, you indicate that the action took place in the past but it has no connection with the present. On the other hand, when you use Past Continuous tense, you imply that the action was in progress in the past.

When we talk about tenses, we also have to consider the concept of verb forms. In this context, we will consider two verb forms – Past Simple and Past Continuous. When you use Past Simple tense, you use the infinitive form of the verb. On the other hand, when you use Past Continuous tense, you need to use either -ing or -ed form of the verb.

Now that we have understood these basic concepts, let us go back to our main topic – Laid and Layed. Both these words are derived from a single word ‘Lay’ which is used as a verb in English language. In this context, ‘lay’ means ‘to put something somewhere’ or ‘to place something somewhere’. It is also important to note that these two words are not only used as verbs but they can also be used as adjectives and adverbs depending on their usage.

The use of these two words in American English is also very common. In fact, there are many situations where both these words are used interchangeably by the native speakers of English. The use of laid as a past simple tense has many uses in everyday conversation.

On the other hand, “lain” is a rare past tense of “lay” in American English, which is used for the simple past. It is used in only a few words such as “lain” and “the slain”.

Examples of “laid” and “layed” in sentences:

  1. I laid the money on the table.
  2. She layed her head on his shoulder.
  3. He layed on the bed for hours.
  4. The victim was laid to rest in the ground.
  5. The child layed on the bed while his mother watched television.
  6. She layed her coat on the floor.
  7. He layed his bag on the chair.

Laid vs Layed

In terms of the spelling, these two words are similarly spelled with a D. However, in terms of their meaning, there is a difference between these two words. The word Laid means to put or place. The word Layed means to spread out or scatter.

These two words are also different in terms of their transitive and intransitive nature. The word Laid is intransitive in nature which means that it cannot be used with a direct object. However, the word Layed is transitive in nature which means that it can be used with a direct object.

In addition to that, we can also see many other differences between these two words. We will list them out below for you to understand better the key differences between laid and layed.

  1. origin

The word Laid is an English word and it has been derived from the Old English word Lædan. The word Layed can be traced to an Arabic word and it has been derived from the Arabic word Layada.

  1. The part of speech

The word Laid is a verb and it is a regular verb. The word Layed is also a verb but it is an irregular verb.

  1. The pronunciation

In terms of phonetic value, the word Laid is pronounced as ‘leid’. The pronunciation of the word Layed is essentially the same as the word Laid.

  1. The stress

The word Laid is a one syllable word and it has a primary stress on the first syllable. The word Layed is also a one syllable word but it has a primary stress on the second syllable.

In everyday conversation, people are using these two words interchangeably. It is a common mistake to use ‘lay’ instead of ‘laid’ or vice versa. However, when you are writing a formal essay or academic paper, it is necessary to use the correct form of these words. The best way to understand the difference between these two words is to memorize their usage.

Another common mistake in English language is using ‘lay’ instead of ‘lie’. This mistake is often seen in common speech. However, this mistake is also commonly seen in writing and even professional writers make this mistake sometimes. If you are wondering how to differentiate between these two words, it is important to know that ‘lay’ is used as a transitive verb while ‘lie’ is used as an intransitive verb. The difference between these two words is the position of the subject. While ‘lay’ is used when the subject is in a position to put something somewhere, ‘lie’ is used when the subject is in a position to be put somewhere.

In other cases, “layed” is also common in literature, in particular Shakespeare’s plays. This is likely because “layed” was a common variant in the late 16th century. However, “layed” is an informal form of the word and should not be used in formal writing.

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