1) That V. Which
- "The car that I was driving got a flat tire."
- "My son's car, which I was driving, got a flat tire."
- The distinction between restrictive and nonrestrictive adjective clauses affects the choice between that and which. In nonrestrictive adjective clauses, which is nearly always used now instead of that.
- Use only that in restrictive adjective clauses...we distinguish restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses in writing by putting commas around the nonrestrictive ones.
2) Lie V. Lay
- Rule of thumb: You lie around, but you lay something down.
Lie - conjugation:
Present tense: lie/lies
Past tense: lay
Past participle: lain
Present participle: lying
Lay = conjugation:
Present tense: lay/lays
Past tense: laid
Past participle: laid
Present participle: laying
- The past tense of lie and the present tense of lay are the same thing (i.e. lay)...this can create a lot of confusion.
Source: The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage, 2005.