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Is it true that you lay an object down but you lie a person down?
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If there is an object, lay must be used. You lay an object down and you lay a person down. After that the person is lying down.

CB
Hi Anon

Well, have you ever heard the children's prayer Now I lay me down to sleep ?

I imagine most grammarians would tell you it's wrong to say "lie a person down", but I would not find it odd if someone were to say something such as "I'm going to lie the baby down in his crib. I'll be right back." But that would be casual usage. For more formal usage, it would be better to use "lay".

Generally speaking, the verb "lie" is intransitive (i.e. it does not take an object) and the verb "lay" is transitive (i.e. it needs an object).

You may find the usage note in the link below interesting:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lay
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Lay (present), Laid (past): Object
Lie (present), Lay (past): Person

Therefore you can both lay and object on a surface (present tense)
Or
You can lay a person on an object (past tense)

Once you are doing any of this action, you do not have to use the word "down". Gravity prevents us from doing the opposite of down.
Therefore you can both lay and object on a surface (present tense)
This is confusing. I assume "and" is a typo for "an," but I have no idea what "both" refers to. If it means "this example and the next example," the blue word needs to be "and," not "or."
"Both A or B" just doesn't work.

Or
You can lay a person on an object (past tense)
This is not correct. You can say, "Yesterday, he lay down on the bed," which is past tense, but you cannot say * "Yesterday I lay him on the bed."

There are two different verbs. Lay/laid/laid/laying takes a direct object: (Lay the paper on the table. Yesterday he laid the paper on the table. He has laid the paper on the table every day for years.)

Lie/lay/lain/lying is intransitive; it does not take a direct object. (I lie down every night at midnight. Yesterday I lay down at midnight. I have always lain down at midnight.)

There's no difference in usage depending on whether the direct object of "lay" is a person or a thing. Also, there is no difference in usage between laying something "on a surface" or "on an object."
vonneypinkey Once you are doing any of this action, you do not have to use the word "down". Gravity prevents us from doing the opposite of down.
But, "I was laid up with the flu last week" is okay. Emotion: nodding
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And, of course, if we want to sweet-talk Avangi, we'll have to lay it on thick. Emotion: smile