Lier or Liar – Which is the Correct Spelling?

enhancedwriting/ August 16, 2017/ Uncategorized

lier versus liar

What’s the Difference Between Liar and Lier?

Liar and lier look like they could be alternate spellings of the same word. However, only one of them is correct when you mean someone who does not tell the truth.

Liar means a person who tells lies, or in other words, a person who doesn’t tell the truth.

  • He says he is from France, but I know he’s a liar. He was born and raised in New York City.

Lier is a spelling error if you mean to indicate a person telling falsehoods. It does have a very specific use to mean a person who lies, or in other words a person who reclines or waits in ambush.

  • There are several beach liers sun bathing over there.

Let’s look at a few ways to use these words in your sentences.

Using Liar in a Sentence

When to use liar: Liar is a noun for a person who tells falsehoods.

For example:

  • The teacher hated liars and punished any student that didn’t tell the truth.
  • Even people who consider themselves honest are probably liars. Research shows that most people lie around three to four times in the first five minutes of meeting a new person.

There are several expressions that use the word liar.

  • Liar, liar, pants on fire: This is a rhyme people use when calling someone a liar
    • Did you just claim to be British royalty? Liar, liar, pants on fire. I know that you have no royal blood.
  • a barefaced liar: someone who lies brazenly
    • I couldn’t believe what a barefaced liar he was! He told the police that he was the victim after he assaulted someone else!
  • A liar is not believed even when he tells the truth: This proverb explains that dishonest people are never believed, even when they aren’t lying
    • The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a story that demonstrates that a liar is not believed even when he tells the truth.

It is impolite to call someone a liar, even if it is true that the person lies.

Using Lier in a Sentence

When to use lier: Lier is also a noun for a person. However, it describes a person who is lying down or lying in wait to ambush someone.

For example:

  • The army has several liers near the border of the camp in case anyone tries to enter who shouldn’t.
  • I don’t see anyone standing in the field, but there appear to be a few liers around.

Lier is much less common than liar. In fact, there is a good chance you will never encounter lier at all, either while reading texts or listening to speech. In most cases, you can eliminate it from your vocabulary entirely.

LIer is also an abbreviated form of Long Islander, a person from Long Island.

Remembering Lier vs. Liar

These two words both come from the verb lie, which makes them a little more confusing. Luckily, you can still use their spelling to remember which word has which meaning.

Liar contains an a, like the word cheat or fabricate, both synonyms of lie.

Lier contains an e, like the word recline.

Outside Examples

  • Lorde is back, and in the first single from “Melodrama,” her album due in the summer, she’s been betrayed and dumped. She’s angry, vengeful, contemptuous: “She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar,” she sneers. –New York Times
  • In a letter of apology read to the congregation of New Life Church Sunday morning, Ted Haggard confessed to sexual immorality and described himself as “a deceiver and a liar.” –Denver Post
  • LIers protest Trump’s call for military transgender ban –Newsday
  • LIers part of winning junior hockey team at Maccabiah Games –Newsday

Quiz: Liar vs. Lier

Instructions: Fill in the blank with the correct word, either liar or lier, in the correct form.

  • My sister is such a _________. She claimed that she made these cookies all by herself, but I know for a fact that she bought them at the grocery store.
  • People tend to be either _____________ or sitters when they lounge about the campsite.
  • A moral and ethical person always tells the truth and strives to never become a _____________.

See answers below.

Article Summary

Should I use lier or liar? These words each refer to a person who does a different type of lie.

  • Liar is a person who is dishonest.
  • Lier is a person who is lying down.

Lier is so uncommon that you probably will only use, read, and hear liar. You can effectively eliminate it from your vocabulary since it is likely to cause more confusion than clarity.

Answers from Quiz

  • liar
  • liers
  • liar