SOME COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS PART 2

Today, I’ll be continuing with the list of commonly confused words I’ve come across in client manuscripts.

YOUR/YOU’RE

Just like Its/It’s, this is also confusing to many.

Your is a possessive pronoun, meaning belonging to you.

You’re is the abbreviation for You are

Examples

Let us go to your house.

You’re being weird.

LAY/LIE, LYING/ LAYING, AND LAID/LAIN

The difficulty with these two words is because they’re both forms of the same verb, lie, but lie is also a noun, so most people assume that lay is the only verb. Here we will be looking at only the verb forms since that is the most often confused.

Lie used as a verb means (1) to utter a falsehood (2) to recline horizontally.

Lay means (a) to put something down. (b) to produce eggs (c) It is also the past tense of lie as used in (2).

Lying is the continuous/progressive form of lie.

Laying is (i) the continuous/progressive form of lay in (b). (ii) fitting (iii) preparation before a meal

Laid is (I) the past tense of lay in (a) and (b), (II) Slang for having sex.

Lain is the past participle of lie in (2) (the past participle of lie in (1) is also lied)

Examples

She lied to me. (Usage of meaning (1) of Lie)

I want to lie down (Usage of meaning (2))

Please lay the book down (Usage of meaning (a))

The hen lays eggs (Usage of meaning (b))

He lay down (Usage of meaning (c))

They’re lying to you. (Form of lie with meaning (1))

She has been lying there for a while (Form of lie with meaning (2))

The hen is laying eggs (Form of lay in (b))

They have been laying the bricks (Form of lay in (ii))

They have been laying the table (Form of lay in (iii))

He laid down the books (Form of Lay in (a))

The hen laid eggs (Form of Lay in (b))

I think he got laid (Usage of (II))

She had lain for a while (Form of lie in (c))

Lead/led

These two are also used interchangeably often. The noun form of Lead is a homonym for Led which is the main reason for this confusion. Here again we will be dealing with the verbs since the confusion occurs in that form.

Lead as a verb means (1) to show the way (2) to be in a winning position (3) to influence

Led is the past tense of lead

Examples

Please lead the way (Usage of (1))

He is leading the race now (Usage of (2))

They will lead him astray (Usage of (3))

I led him to the house (form of Lead in (1))

He led the race (form of Lead in (2))

They led him astray (form of Lead in (3))

I’ll be back with more next week. Until then, stay safe.

If there are any words that you confuse with others, please let me know in the comments so I can add them to a future post

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