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


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


Let us go to your house.

You’re being weird.


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)


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))


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


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

Some Commonly Confused Words Part 1

Today, I will be talking about some of the most commonly confused words I have come across while editing. I hope this will help you avoid making the same mistakes in your writing. This is by no means an exhaustive list These are just issues I have come across in client manuscripts.

Passed/ Past

This is a fairly common mistake that everyone seems to make. Using passed in place of past and vice versa.

Passed is the past tense of Pass. You can find the meaning of Pass here. Basically, pass used as a verb means to go past which is what many confuse with the word past itself.

Past on the other hand means something that’s behind you, either in terms of time or distance.


He went past the crowd.

She passed by the crowd.

Past the hour, they met as usual.


This is another commonly confused pair of words.

It’s is short for It is.

Its is a possessive pronoun. Its means belonging to it, attributed to it.


It’s a short walk to the pier.

Its origins were unknown.


This is another set of words that are often used erroneously.

Awhile means for a while.

A while means a period of time.


It has been a while since she has been here.

He has been attending the lecture awhile now.

That’s it for today. I shall be back with more commonly confused words soon.