Layed vs. Laid: When to Use Laid vs. Layed (with Useful Examples)

Sometimes the difference between two words is that, while one of them is commonly used, the other is considered archaic and is not used at all nowadays. This is the case with the pair layed vs. laid. Though both these words have been acceptable at some point in the English language, only one of them should be used today. So, which is it?

The Main Differences: Layed vs. Laid

Layed or Laid: Key Takeaways

  • LAID is the past tense of the verb “to lay” which usually means “to set something down”
  • LAYED is an archaic word that nobody uses anymore and should be avoided in modern English.

Layed vs. LaidPin

Layed and Laid: the Definition and Usage

What Does “Laid” Mean?

“Laid” is the past tense and past participle form of the verb “lay,” which means to put or place something down in a flat or gentle manner. It is used when referring to an action that has already been completed.

Many English words have a few different meanings, and the verb “to lay” isn’t an exception. When you say that John laid the newspaper on the table, you mean that he put it there. When you say that a group of criminals laid out a plan of the bank robbery, you mean that they prepared, or created it. This verb can also be associated with bets: if you say that Hazel laid a bet on the horse that has come last in all the previous races, you mean that she placed a bet. Finally, a hen might have laid an egg as well.

Nevertheless, no matter which meaning this verb takes in your sentence, the past tense will always be laid.

Here are some examples of how “laid” is used:

  • She laid the blanket on the bed.
  • The mason laid the bricks carefully.
  • The table was laid with fine china for the dinner party.

What Does “Layed” Mean?

“Layed” is not a standard word in contemporary English. The correct past tense and past participle form of “lay” is “laid.” 

You can only use layed if you’re describing a time period a few centuries ago, and you need the appropriate vocabulary to create the needed mood. If this is not the case and your writing is done completely in modern English, stick to laid.

Find more insights: Lay vs. Lie, Laying vs. Lying

Tips to Remember the Difference

  • Modern Usage: Remember that “layed” is an archaic term and is not used in modern English. Stick with “laid” for the past tense and past participle of “lay.”
  • Verb Pairing: Associate the verb “lay” with its correct forms. “Lay” requires an object (you lay something down), and the sequence is “lay” (present), “laid” (past), “laid” (past participle). There’s no “layed” in this sequence.

Layed vs. Laid Examples

Example 1:

  • Correct: She laid the napkin on her lap before starting to eat.
  • Incorrect: She layed the napkin on her lap before starting to eat.

Example 2:

  • Correct: The hen has laid six eggs this week.
  • Incorrect: The hen has layed six eggs this week.

Example 3:

  • Correct: They laid the carpet in the living room yesterday.
  • Incorrect: They layed the carpet in the living room yesterday.

Example 4:

  • Correct: The workers laid the foundation for the new house.
  • Incorrect: The workers layed the foundation for the new house.

Example 5:

  • Correct: He laid his keys on the kitchen counter.
  • Incorrect: He layed his keys on the kitchen counter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct past tense of ‘to lay’?
You should use laid as the past tense of ‘to lay’. For instance, you might say, “Yesterday, you laid the book on the table.”

Is ‘layed’ ever correct?
No, ‘layed’ is not correct in modern English. It’s an archaic spelling that is no longer used, so always stick with laid.

How do you use ‘laid’ in a sentence?
Use ‘laid’ when you want to indicate that something was placed down. For example, “You have laid your keys on the dresser.”

What is the past participle of ‘to lay’?
The past participle of ‘to lay’ is also laid. You would use it in perfect tenses, like “You have laid the groundwork for your project.”

Last Updated on December 1, 2023

6 thoughts on “Layed vs. Laid: When to Use Laid vs. Layed (with Useful Examples)”

  1. What about “I ____ on the couch all day”? Laid? Layed? Lain? Veg’d?! I agree, simply dismissing a word as “archaic” is about as lazy as spending all day on the couch!

    Reply
  2. You forgot about played. Isn’t English a lovely language? Played isn’t plaid unless you are talking about a fabric pattern. And just because English evolves doesn’t mean layed isn’t accurate. It’s like trying to say double negatives is a hard and fast rule. Some guys wrote a book in the 17th century declaring this a rule, clearly even English is sometimes structured to only be able to use double negatives because there is no other way to even state it. So to sum this up, this article is a joke and you should just go with whatever people understand realizing that layed and laid are interchangeable often times and mean completely the same thing and with the way English is ever evolving layed will be back in before you know it.

    Reply
  3. Well, this will make people more stupider! Layed, is actually far more appropriate in many instances, the explanation in the article above is from someone unfamiliar with the origin of the word, proper usage, and the language, at best, and the excuse of only using it when speaking of something occurring centuries ago, is purely idiotic.

    Reply

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