How to Get Laid by Francisco Cordoba

One day when I was in college, my English professor informed me that my writing was atrocious.

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Unless I figured out a way to get laid, I would fail his class. This seemed somewhat harsh, but dedicated young student that I was, I determined to make Prof. Smith proud.

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Now, I’m far from stupid, so I figured out lickety-split that the best way to get laid was to ask the smartest student in class if she would help me.

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For some reason, she wasn’t too helpful. I guess she was busy that day.

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So I changed tactics. Maybe finding some equally confused students and forming a self-discovery group would work better.

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This approach appeared to work better and after scouring grammar books, corpora, and online how-to articles, my various ‘lay’ buddies and I became experts on getting laid.

This is what we learned.

People are confused. Why? Because the past form of ‘lie’ is identical to the present form of ‘lay’. This leads people to think they mean the same thing and creates horrible problems and misunderstandings.

Lay is most often a transitive verb and takes an object. If “place” or “put” can be substituted in a sentence, a form of lay is needed. The pattern for a sentence with ‘lay’ is: <subject> <form of lay> <object>.

Examples.

1) Lay the lace teddy on the bed.

This is an Imperative sentence, an order if you will, and the <subject> is assumed to be ‘you’, even though it isn’t written. The present form ‘lay’ is used, and the <object> of ‘lay’ is lace teddy’.

2) She laid the baby in the crib.

< Subject > is ‘She’. The past form ‘laid’ is used, and the <object> of ‘laid’ is ‘baby’. (Please note: ‘object’ in this case is grammatical object. I am not maligning babies. That’s for a separate blog.)

3) The mason is laying brick.

<Subject> is ‘The mason’. The present continuous is used, and the <object> of ‘laying’ is brick.

4) I have laid the roses at your feet.

< Subject > is ‘I’. The past participle is used in the present perfect tense, and the <object> of ‘laid’ is ‘the roses’.

In each case you could substitute some form of ‘place’ or ‘put’ for a form of ‘lay’ and the sentence would still make sense.

So much for ‘lay’. What about that tricky copycat verb, ‘lie’?

Lie, with the overall senses “to rest, recline or stretch out” and “to rest, remain, be situated, etc.,” is intransitive and takes no object. The pattern is <subject> <form of lie>.

1) Lie on the bed.

This is another Imperative sentence. As with all imperative sentences, the <subject> is an invisible ‘You’. The expectation in this sentence is that the subject will lie down on the bed.

2) My lover lay on the bed.

<Subject> ‘My lover’ is the one directly involved in the activity of resting or reclining.

***This is the bugaboo***

It’s important to recognize the pattern here so you can identify that lay is in fact the past tense of ‘lie’ and not the present tense of ‘lay’.

3) My lover was lying on the bed.

<Subject> ‘My lover’ is the one directly involved in the activity of resting or reclining.

4) I have lain on this bed waiting for my lover all day.

<subject> ‘I’ is the one directly involved in the present perfect activity of lying around and waiting for the (presumably) late lover.
Now, it’s a well-known fact that the best way to cement new learning in the brain is to teach it. So once I felt I was accurate in my knowledge, I set out to offer my experience around campus. Word spread quickly, and before long, my services were in high demand, among some students anyway.

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I pride myself that during my college career, I figured out how to help a great many people to a new and fuller understanding of themselves and their capabilities regarding the fundamental concept of getting laid.

What I can’t figure out is how I came to have so much sex.

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