Writing Tips

Grammar and Usage

Our best writing tip? Edit for clarity and brevity with WordRake. It’s an automated in-line editor that checks for needless words, cumbersome phrases, clichés, and more.

Download a 7-Day Free Trial

Sleeping Lawyers Don't "Lay"

Difference between "Lay" and "Lie"

Know the difference.

 

We often confuse “lay” and “lie” because “lay” is the present tense of “to lay” but the past tense of “to lie.” And the two are not interchangeable. The difference:

“to lay” requires an object – Lay the brief on the desk.

“to lie” never has an object – He had to lie down after writing the brief.

 

present tense:

 

Two jurors lay their heads on the table; the rest lie back and relax in the Jury Room.

 

past tense:

Two jurors laid their heads on the table; the rest lay back and relaxed in the Jury Room.

 

Remember: “Lie down.” Everything else follows.

Writing Tips in Your Inbox

About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

Download a 7-Day Free Trial

How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.