'Layed Out' or 'Laid Out': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on January 13, 2023

If you're wondering whether you should use 'layed out' or 'laid out' in a sentence, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll explain what the phrases mean and the difference between the two.

In short, 'layed out' is a misspelling of 'laid out.' The confusion arises from the fact that 'lay' is an irregular verb.

'Layed Out' or 'Laid Out': What is the Difference?

"Lay" is an irregular verb that means to place something somewhere. It's not to be confused with the word "lie," which means you position something (or yourself) in a horizontal position; for instance, on a bed.

You could say:

I'm lying in bed. ❌

But you couldn't say:

I'm laying in bed. ✅

'Layed out' is a grammatically incorrect spelling of 'laid out.' The only correct way to spell it is 'laid out.' 'Laid' is the past indefinite (and past participle) of the verb "lay." Because it's an irregular verb, it doesn't follow the usual rules for conjugation, which is where the confusion arises.

Usually, to conjugate a verb into the past indefinite tense, you take the root verb and add -ed. If we follow that rule, it would make sense for the verb "lay" to become "layed out" in the past indefinite. However, because it's an irregular verb, it doesn't follow usual conventions. That's why it's spelled 'laid out.'

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Laid Out'

If you're wondering how to pronounce it, the verb "laid out" is pronounced as follows according to the International Phonetics Alphabet:


And it sounds something like this:


How to Use 'Laid Out' in a Sentence

"Lay" is an intransitive verb, meaning it needs an object to act upon. So when using 'laid out' in a sentence, make sure there's a direct object in the sentence, too.

Let's take a look at some example sentences using the phrase, so you can get a better idea of what this looks like. I'll underline the verb 'laid out' and put the direct object in bold.

I've laid out all the snaps from the photoshoot so you can look through them and pick your favorite.

They had to decide how the roads would be laid out in the new neighborhood.

The restaurant no longer looks the way it was originally laid out

The new skyscraper will have a garden laid out on its roof.

Vineyards were laid out in the vicinity.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Layed Out' or 'Laid Out'

The difference between 'layed out' or 'laid out' is quite simple: 'layed out' is a misspelling, and 'laid out' is the correct spelling. But if you're ever in doubt, you can always come back to this article to double-check.

And if you want to keep improving your English, check out the Confusing Words section of our blog. There are many helpful articles on there, and we add more daily!

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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