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My understanding is that they both mean to lie. But they seem to be used in different contexts. Could they refer to different kinds of lying?

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This could easily be checked by looking the words up in a dictionary: liegen, lügen. –  Brian Mar 1 '13 at 22:43
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2 Answers 2

Liegen und lügen can be translated as to lie (resting horizontally) and to lie (not telling the truth) respectively.


liegen (Resting horizontally or being located)

Examples for liegen:

Ich liege im Bett (I'm lying in bed.)

Berlin liegt im Osten von Deutschland. (Berlin is located in the eastern part of Germany.)


lügen (not telling the truth)

Examples:

Er lügt mich an. (He is lying to me.)

Ich lüge jeden Tag. (I'm lying on a daily basis.)

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Ok, reminds me of the joke about the woman diplomat who was sent abroad to lie (lügen) for her country (an American cliche). But she actually did her job by "lying" (liegen) for her country. –  Tom Au Mar 1 '13 at 13:52
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Note that you can easily do both kinds of lying in a bed. Even at the same time. –  Joachim Sauer Mar 1 '13 at 15:24
    
@JoachimSauer: And in either case, the purpose is is "verführen" (I believe that is the word). –  Tom Au Mar 1 '13 at 16:20
    
They are Not the same English Verb, they are homonyms. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 21 at 18:09
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@CarstenSchultz Made it even clearer by reformulating the first paragraph :) –  Baz Jan 21 at 18:23
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Liegen is to lie on a horizontal surface and lügen means to make up a story:

Ich liege im Bett.

I am in bed

Was ich sage, ist die Wahrheit und ich lüge nicht.

What I am saying is the truth and I don't lie.

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