Advertisement
Educative

The Important Difference Between Laid and Layed in English Language

The Important Difference Between Laid and Layed: Laid and layed are both similar to the verb lay. Laid is actually the past and past participle of lay. It is famously used in the language. So in this article, we will show you the important difference between laid and layed.

Layed is an old term that was used as the past and past participle of laid. However, both words have the same meaning but one is no more in use.

Laid and Layed

The word ‘Laid’ is the past tense and past participle of the word ‘lay’. ‘Lay’ most frequently means to set something down, both figuratively and metaphorically. 

Advertisement

It can also mean to put something down on a surface. For example, ‘He laid the book on the table.’

Laid can mean ‘to create’ or prepare something. For example, ‘The architects laid out the blueprints for the building.’

This is mostly common in the phrase ‘lay an egg’, which means to produce one. The word has become associated with bets. 

Some examples are: ‘She laid a bet on the first horse entered into the race.’

                                      ‘I will lay odds that you don’t know how to cook.’

So in this case, ‘lay odds’ is a slang term for making a bet.

The word ‘Layed’ is a more complicated story. It is no longer an appropriate word. It is considered old. That is, it can still be used when someone is trying to create an old-time feel, but nobody uses it aside from that. Most of the time in English, verbs can be changed from present tense to past tense by adding an –ed to the end. For instance, ‘walk’ becomes ‘walked’.

But, this is sometimes not the case when the verb ends in a Y. Regular verbs are usually the ones that have a regular conjugation: the past tense and past participle end in –ed. If the –ed is added to the end, like ‘talk’ to ‘talked’, or just the –d is added when the verb already ends in an E, like ‘smoke’ to ‘smoked’. Then there are the irregular verbs, which do not follow this pattern.

However, some verbs that end in Y are not regular. The ones do that have a consonant before the Y are almost always regular. For most of them, when you turn it into a past tense, you turn the Y into an I and then add –ed to the end. For example, ‘try’ becomes ‘tried’.

There are little exceptions, such as “enjoy” and “enjoyed”, as well as “stay” and “stayed’’. Those past tense forms are pronounced differently from other verbs ending in Y: ‘’tried’’ has a long I sound in it, while ‘’stayed’’ does not.

So when the letter before that is a vowel, like in ‘’say’’, then there is no E added. ‘’Say’’ becomes ‘’said’’, ‘’pay’’ also becomes ‘’paid’’, and ‘’lay’’ becomes ‘’laid’’.

That spelling rule was not always the case in English, as indicated by the fact that ‘‘layed’’ once was accepted. The reason this was changed was because of the pronunciation. In current English, the –ed at the end of verbs is pronounced with just the D sound.

In the ancient days, the –ed was pronounced with the ‘eh’ sound as well as the D sound. It is possible that some verbs with a vowel sound before the Y were the first to be pronounced in a way closer to current English.

In some older texts, such as The Faerie Queene from 1590 (over 400 years ago), the spelling was ‘’layd’’, which would seem to specify a more modern pronunciation. If it was the case, then the spelling ‘’layed’’ would not have reflected the pronunciation, so they may have changed it before the spellings were totally set in stone.

Advertisement