He was seen [laying or lying] down near the window.

Which is it? Laying is usually used with an object.


He was seen laying down near the window.

You can use laying here as present tense, if he was seen in the process getting on the bed when the observation (He was seen) was made.

He was seen lying down near the window.

He was already on the bed when the observation (He was seen) was made.

  • This doesn't seem right to me. "To lay" is transitive. The only sense I can make of "laying down near the window" involves duck feathers. Jul 27 '16 at 1:57
  • Well I would say non-standard but not wrong. lay "'lay down' 4. Nonstandard To lie down."
    – user3169
    Jul 27 '16 at 2:34

if you treat lay as the past tense of lie, then lying should not be used. The word lay itself means to put something down, so using lay this way is not correct.

the correct one is "He was seen lying down near the window."

  • 5
    Note that even native speakers often get this pair of words confused. Oct 28 '15 at 3:03
  • Yep, this is very common. Oct 28 '15 at 3:11

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