Sit / Set

Who / What is sitting — the subject or the object?

sit pup  set the pup dowm
sit                         set
 

 

 

Sit vs. Set

SIT

Use sit for an action that a person or animal does by oneself.  Sit is an intransitive verb – it does not take an object.

My dog is sitting by the door.   (present progressive)

My dog sits next to my desk while I am working.  (present)

She sat down next to me and stayed there.  (past)

She has sat with me several times before.  (present perfect)

Sit down!  Good dog.  (command)
 

SET

Use set for an action that a person does to someone or something else.  Set is a transitive verb – it requires an object.  (place or position something)

The woman is setting the pup next to its mother.  (present progressive)

She sets the pup down next its mother so it can feed.  (present)

She set the pup down next its mother a minute ago.   (past)

She has set the pup down several times.  (present perfect)

Set the pup down and leave it alone.  (command)

 

Also see Intransitive verbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sit

Additional meanings

portrait painter
 

Sit — additional meanings

MEANING EXAMPLES

POSE  (v.)

He sat for an artist who painted his picture.  It took several sittings.   (past tense)

TO BE LOCATED  (v.)

Our house sits on a hill over the town.  (present tense)

REST OR LIE  (v.)

He has an aura of greatness that sits upon him.  (present tense)

REMAIN INACTIVE (v.)

Congress let the bill sit for several months.  

HOLD A POSITION (v.)

Thurgood Marshall sat on the Supreme Court for twenty-four years.   (past tense)

BABYSIT (v.)
 

She baby sits for us every Saturday night.

PHRASAL VERBS  

SIT DOWN  (v.)

Please sit down and stay for a while.  (be seated)

SIT UP  (v.)

Sit up straight and put your hands in your lap. (maintain good posture)
We sat up late talking last night.  (delayed going to sleep)

SIT ON / UPON  (v.)

They sat on the news for several weeks before revealing the truth. (hid)

SIT IN  (v.)

The violinist had to sit in for another musician who was ill.  (take the place of)

SIT OUT  (v.)
 

Because he had a cold, he had to sit out the next game.  (be absent from)

EXPRESSIONS  

SIT PRETTY (v.)

He was sitting pretty until the police figured out his scam and sent him to jail. (be in a comfortable situation)

SIT TIGHT  (v.)

Just sit tight.  We'll be there in a few minutes.  (remain patient and calm)

SIT ON ONE'S HANDS (v.)

The officials sat on their hands instead of taking action. (failed to take appropriate action)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set

Additional meanings

set table
 

 

Set  – Additional Meanings

MEANING EXAMPLES

SET THE TABLE (v.)

She set the table with her best silverware. (past tense)

SET  (v.) (place in position)

She set the painting on end because it looked better that way.  (past)

SET FIRE (v.)

They set fire to his house.  (past tense)

SET HAIR  (v.)

The hairdresser washed and set my grandmother's hair. (put in rollers to curl)

SET THE VALUE  (v.)

The agent set the value of our house at one million dollars. (past tense)

SET TO WORK  (v.)

Snow White set to work cleaning up the seven dwarves house.  (past tense)

SET A DATE  (v.)

We set our wedding date for August 25. (past tense)

SET FREE (v.)

She opened the bird cage and set the pigeon free. (past tense)

SET LIMITATIONS  (v.)

The government set a limit on how much they would loan the automakers.  (past tense)

SET ONE'S MIND (v.)

You can achieve anything you want if you set your mind to it. (past tense)

SET A GOOD EXAMPLE  (v.)

By helping others, he set a good example for his kids. (past tense)

SET A FAST PACE  (v.))

Michael Phelps set a fast pace for all the other swimmers. (past tense)

SET A DEVICE (v.)

He set the clocks to the correct time. Then he set the thermostat to 68 degrees.  (past tense)

SET A DIAMOND (v.)

The jeweler set four diamonds and two pearls on her wedding ring.

SET A FOUNDATION (v.)

They set the bridge supports in concrete.   (to place or plant firmly - past tense)

SET A LIMB   (v.)

The doctor set his leg after he had broken it.  (reposition or straighten a broken bone - past tense)

SET TO MUSIC   (v.)

The musician set the words to music.  (wrote music for lyrics - past tense)

SET SAIL  (v.)

The ship set sail at dawn. (went to sea - past tense)

SET   (v.) (HARDEN OR GEL)

The carpenter glued the leg on the chair and let it set for 24 hours. (harden- past tense)
The Jello set after being in the refrigerator for three hours. (gelled)

SUNSET   (N.) / SET   (v.)

Sunset is at 8:30 p.m.  The sun sets later in summertime.

SET A RECORD   (v.)

Michael Phelps set a record for winning the most swimming competitions. (past tense)

SET ABOUT    (v.) (begin)

He set about putting is finances in order. (past tense)

SET AGAINST    (v.) (oppose)

He was set against borrowing any money.

SET OUT   (v.) (begin with determination)

We set out to win the tournament.

SET APART    (v.) (distinguish)

Her bright red hair set her apart from all the other performers.
 

PHRASAL VERBS   

SET UP    (v.) (initiate, install, arrange)

He set up my computer with speakers, a printer and a scanner.

SET OFF

As soon as it was dark, we set off the fireworks. (exploded)
We set off on our trip as soon as we could. (departed)
Her purple silk dress was set off by tiny beading across the front. (accented)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

* I think I'll set down for a rest.

* Set down!

* She has setted the table already.

ERROR

I think I'll sit down for a rest.   (intransitive)
I I think I'll set the dog down for a rest.    (transitive)

Sit down.   (intransitive)
Set it down (transitive)

She has set the table already.   (past participle is same as present)

 

* incorrect usage

 

 

 

 

 

Practice1

A welcoming

sitting area
 

 

 

Read Context

Eve: Please come in and s_t down and have a cup of coffee.  Make yourself comfortable.

Al: Thank you. 

Eve: You can s_t your things here if you'd like.

Eve: Would you like to s_t in a more comfortable chair? I s_t in that chair yesterday and found it to be rather uncomfortable. Perhaps we should s_t that uncomfortable chair in another room. 

Al: It's OK.  I'll be fine with it.

Eve: If you'd like, you can s_t your laptop on the coffee table. However, it moves a bit because it is s_tting with one leg on the carpet and the other legs on the floor.

Eve: I s_t the table there yesterday while vacuuming and forgot to move it back. If you will just move it a bit, it will be fine.

Al: I'll do that. Thank you.

 

 

Sit or Set?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-8" button at the bottom, or click the check button to the left  as you go.

 

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Practice 2

A pep-talk to a player

television interview
 

 

Read Context

We s__t up a television interview this evening.  You'll be speaking. Remember to s__t up straight and speak confidently. Tell everyone that we have s__t out to be the number one team in the country.

Mr. Williams may also be there. He s__ts on the board of directors. He will announce that we have s__t the date for the exhibition game.

The interviewer will s__t the pace of the interview.  If he asks about Ray Binbacker, change the subject.  You don't want to s__t off more questions.  Unfortunately, Ray may have to s__t out the season due to a knee injury.

If we s__t our minds to it, we can win this season. We'll be s__tting pretty if we can get more corporate sponsors. However, if we s__t on our hands, we'll fall behind.  What s__ts us apart from our competition is our desire to win.

competition (n.) — a situation in which people or organizations try to be more successful than other people or organizations

corporate sponsors (pl. n.) — funding, money given by a business to support a team

injury (n.) — a wound or damage to part of your body caused by an accident or attack

pep-talk (n.) — a talk meant to energize and encourage a person to perform well

 

 

 

Is it a sit or set expression?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 9-20" button at the bottom, or click the check button to the left  as you go.

 

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