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Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay

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Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 06:40
Darwin was not the first to advance a theory of evolution; his tremendous originality lay in the fact that he proposed the idea of natural selection as the means by which evolution worked.

(A) lay in the fact that he proposed the idea
(B) lay in the fact of his proposing the idea
(C) laid in the fact of his proposing the idea
(D) laid in his proposal
(E) lay in his proposal
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Re: Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2012, 09:24
I eliminated A,B and C as they were awkward.
I selected the option "D", but it is wrong. :( The correct one is "E".

Can any one help on this?
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Re: Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 06:40
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tanipra wrote:
I eliminated A,B and C as they were awkward.
I selected the option "D", but it is wrong. :( The correct one is "E".

Can any one help on this?


Good job eliminating down to D & E. The issue here is about the meaning differences between laid & lay. The verb "laid" (past tense of lay) is a transitive verb that requires an object. With "laid" there is an action happening to something - "I laid the book on the table". The very "lay" (past tense of lie) is intransitive and therefore doesn't require that a specific action happen to an object. One of the definitions of "lay" is: "To consist or have as a basis; often used with in: The strength of his performance lay in his training."

This meaning of this sentence requires the verb "lay" and matches nicely with the definition "to consist or have as a basis". Darwin's originality lay in (was based on) his proposal...

KW
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Re: Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 06:46
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Hi Kyle.
How one can recognise that sch word is transitive and such is not? Please elaborate.
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Re: Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 11:12
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Re: Sentence Correction Lie Vs Lay   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2012, 11:12
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