How to master the grammar of language, stories

Do you know the difference between "lie" and "lay" -- not to mention "lei"? Why does the prayer read: "Now I LAY me down to sleep..."? Shouldn't that be LIE, meaning to recline?

And what's all this stuff about "lay" being a transitive verb, and "lie" being intransitive? Do I have to learn stuff like that, not to mention the difference between regular and irregular verbs? (Seems the irregular verbs don't have enough fiber in their diets...)

Why did Shakespeare write "Woe is me"? Shouldn't it be changed to the subjective case, "Woe is I," or is that hyper-grammar?

If you are this confused and want to learn more about grammar, please enter the warm safety of our live chat today at 3 p.m. ET. If you worry that your infinitive is split, or that your participles dangle, this walk-in grammar clinic, as we'll call it, is for you.

Twitter users can tweet questions ahead of time using the hashtag #poynterchats. You can revisit this page at anytime to replay the chat after it has ended.

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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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