The proper use of "lie" and "lay" is tough for English speakers to grasp. We get it wrong all of the time. We use forms of "lie" when we mean "lay" and forms of "lay" when we mean "lie."
Lie: "to assume a horizontal position on a supporting surface" or to tell a lie.
Lay: "to place on a surface."
What does it mean to "conjugate?" "To give the different forms of a verb." Let's conjugate "lie" and "lay" so we can understand what form to use when speaking or writing.
Conjugation of "lie:"
Present Past (to take a horizontal position/to tell a lie)
(I) lie lay/lied
(You) lie lay/lied
(He/She) lies lay/lied
(We) lie lay/lied
(They) lie lay/lied
Gerund = lying
Past = lain (to take a horizontal position)/lied (to tell a lie)
Conjugation of Lay:
(I) lay laid
(You) lay laid
(He/She) lays laid
(We) lay laid
(They) lay laid
Gerund = laying
Past = laid
I am going to lie down for a little while.
She laid the wedding present on the table.
Source: (The Pocket Oxford American Dictionary of Current English. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 163, 446, and 455)
Introduction to Grammar Guidelines
With texting, Facebook, and Twitter fast becoming main modes of communication, the new shorthand lingo that is developing will no doubt bring about a higher frequency of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. The rules that define proper English seem to fade into the distance as more people forget them and replace that knowledge with acronyms such as OMG and LOL. The hope for this site is to reinforce proper English grammar and continue to encourage eloquent writing and speech.