Thursday 14 January 2016

Editing Tips: Lay vs. Lie & Weary vs. Wary

Welcome to a new set of blog posts that I'll be bringing to you once a month during 2016. In these posts I will give some little snapshots of common errors I see as an editor, which I hope will help writers and readers alike.

Lay vs. Lie

The quickest way to remember these is to think that you lay an object down, but you go to lie down. Here's a table to show you the forms for different tenses.

I lie on the bed and close my eyes vs. I lay the book on the table

Weary vs. Wary

I see these two mixed up a lot, whether by error or typo. The difference here is simple:

weary (with an e) = tired/fatigued
She was weary after a long day at the office.

wary (no e) = watchful/uncertain/cautious of danger
She was wary as she approached the broken window.

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