By popular demand, here is another grammar refresh.
“Lay” means to place something, whereas “lie” means that the object of the sentence can lie on its own.
I will lay my blanket on the bed before I lie down.
A trick I use to distinguish between these quickly is to use the word “place” as a substitute. If you can say “place” then you can say lay. If not, then it’s lie.
I will place my blanket on the bed before I place down. See how this works?
As with less/few, further/farther is about the ability to measure. When the distance can be measured, say “farther”; but when the distance cannot be measured, “further” is correct.
We need to look further into this topic before we write the paper.
We walked a mile farther today than we did yesterday.
A person can sit, but the verb “set” needs an object.
I set the vase of flowers on the table.
I sit in the chair.
Trying the “placed” trick can work here too.
I placed the vase of flowers on the table.
I placed in the chair.
Again, since “placed” doesn’t work in the second example, you would use “sit” as the verb.
I hope I helped with a few bugaboos! Happy writing!
I go and lay aside my burdens
and trust the Lord to keep
watch when I close the curtains
and try to go to sleep,
and although I’d like to go
farther in my faith each day,
in my heart I always know
I’m no further on the Way
than the praying tot who’s set
upon the image of the Christ
Who’d sit among the learned and yet,
when Heaven there was priced
said, “Let the children come to Me;
such is the glory you will see.”
Further/Farther. Finally, I’ll know which to use.
Thank you, Tamela!
Thank you. It’s always good to confirm what we sometimes forget!
Thank you, Tamela. Regarding “further/farther,” it helps me to remember that “farther” contains the word “far,” and “far” implies distance. :). Blessings to you!
Sharon K Connell
These are great, Tamela. Thank you. I keep little cheat sheets hanging from the hutch at my desk with these troublesome words. LOL
Kristen Joy Wilks
Such handy tricks! Thank you, Tamela. Grammar is like breathing for my best friend, she hears a rule and remembers it forever, but I have to struggle to keep all that info in my head. Tricks are so helpful for me!
Thanks, Tamela! So helpful. I love the “place” trick : )
Heidi Gray McGill
Were vs. was. I’d love for you to include these in your next installment!
Especially were in the subjunctive tense which is easy to get wrong. “If I were a rich man . . .” not if I was . . ..”
Oh yes, Tamela, this is helpful! I didn’t even know I had a problem with farther/further, but now it’s fixed. Can you please do past tense and past participles next? For sit/set and lie/lay? 🙏🏻
Thanks Tamela! I’ll take grammar tips anytime.
That was incredibly helpful! Thank you.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D.
Superb, Tamela. I find some students mix up “our” and “are,” based on southern accents. They sometimes mix up “there,” “they’re,” and “their.” Another issue I find is adding letters to a word, such as saying “ideal” when meaning “idea,” such as the following:
I have a wonderful ideal……Really?