Difference Between Laid and Lain

Key Difference – Laid vs Lain
 

Laid and lain are two past participle verbs that confuse native and non-native English speakers alike. The best way to recognize the difference between laid and lain is to remember that they belong to two different verbs. Lain is the past participle of lie (to assume a horizontal position) whereas laid is the past participle of lay. This is the key difference between laid and lain. (Read the Difference Between Lie and Lay)

What Does Laid Mean?

Laid is the past tense and past participle of lay. Lay generally means to place or put something down. Although the meaning of this verb may slightly vary depending on the context, lay is always followed by a direct object. It is a transitive verb because it can never be used without a subject.

Following examples will help you to understand different meanings of laid.

She has laid the map on the table.

The maids laid the table for dinner.

The black hen laid six eggs yesterday.

He laid his head on the soft cushion.

She had laid her car key on the counter when she came home.

You’ll notice in the above examples that each verb is followed by a direct object. The verb laid cannot occur without a direct object.

Key Difference - Laid vs Lain

She laid the baby in a basket.

What Does Lain Mean?

Lain is the past participle of lie. Lie here does not mean to say something untrue. It means to assume a horizontal or resting position. Thus, if you want to describe someone who is in a horizontal position, resting or reclining, you can use the verb lain. The corresponding past tense form is lay.

He has lain in the rough ground for some time.

The two bodies were lain down on two tables.

You should have never lain in his bed.

She admitted that she has lain with men.

The police inspected the place where she had lain dead for two days.

The little girl has not lain on the wooden floor before.

She has not lain on a wooden floor before.

The table below will help you to remember the different verb forms of lay and lie.

  Present Past Past Participle
Lay Please lay the map on the table. He laid the map on the table. He had laid the map on the table.
Lie We lie down on the rough ground. We lay down on the rough ground. We have lain down on the ground for some time.

What is the difference between Laid and Lain?

Meaning:

Laid means to have placed something down.

Lain means to have gone into a resting position.

Lay vs Lie:

Laid is the past tense and past participle of lay.

Lain the past participle of lie (to assume a horizontal position).

Direct Object:

Laid is always followed by a direct object.

Lain is not followed by an object.

Verb Type:

Laid is a transitive verb.

Lain is an intransitive verb.

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