Chapter 5-7-2: Sit and Set

Grammar > Using Verbs > Confused Verbs > "Sit" & "Set"

The verbs "sit" and "set" are also frequently confused. The intransitive verb "sit" means "to rest" or "to occupy a seat." The present participle is "sitting," and both the past part and the past participle are "sat."

Charlie will be surprised when he learns that he is sitting on a freshly painted bench.

We sat in the corridor outside the dean's office all afternoon.

The student delegate is persistent; they have sat in the excruciatingly uncomfortable chairs outside the dean's office for several hours.

In each of these sentences, the verb "sit" is used in conjunction with a adverbial phrase to describe the position of the subject.

The transitive verb "set" means "to place," "to put," or "to lay." The present participle of "set" is "setting," and both the past form and the past participle are "set":

The clockmaker was setting his tools on the bench when the hooligans came into his shop.

Germaine set plates and soup bowls on the table.

Once we had set the clock ahead an hour, we went to bed.

In each of these sentences, the verb "set" is used to describe the placing of an object in a specific place.

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