The verb lie means 'to rest' or 'to recline', 'to remain in a lying position'.Its principal parts (Stammformen) are lie, lay, lain, lying. The verb lie never takes an obejct (=intransitive).
The verb lay means 'to put' or 'to place (something)'. Its principal parts are lay, laid, laid, laying. These form may have objects (=transitive).

Infinitive Present
Past Past
to lie (to rest) lying lay (have) lain
to lay (to put) laying laid (have) laid

to lie (=liegen) to lay (=legen)
Occasionally I lie down Lay the boards down.
The letter is lying on the desk I was laying the letter on the desk.
Yesterday Ben lay on the sand. Yesterday Ben laid these towels on the sand.
How long have you lain there? Have you laid your work aside?

Now do the following exercise by writing the correct form of the proper verb (lie - lay) for each of these sentences:

1. An old mine used to ________________ at the foot of the mountain.
2. He ________________ his glasses aside and frowned.
3. I shall _______________ down for a few minutes.
4. She had ___________________ on the divan before.
5. The baby was still ___________________ quietly in his cradle.
6. The woman _________________ the baby in his cradle an hour ago.
7. Is the newspaper _____________________ in the rain?
8. No, I have _________________ the paper near the fireplace to dry.
9. Last summer my dog often __________________ in his doghouse.
10. _________________ down, Snoopy.

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