This one’s a classic. Alana commented on the previous post, “So what about ‘laying out’? As in ‘I layed out by the pool on Saturday.’ Is that correct?” Well, the first three letters are …
“Lie” means to rest or recline (you lie out by the pool). “Lay” is the past tense of “lie” (you lay out by the pool on Saturday).
“Lay” means to place something (you lay a book by the pool). “Laid” is the past tense of “lay” (you laid a book by the pool on Saturday).
It’s confusing because “lay” is used two different ways. It helps to remember that lay/laid is a transitive verb and needs an object to follow it (e.g., book). Lie/lay is intransitive and doesn’t have an object.