phrasal verbs – set


set the table = arrange the table in preparation for eating; put plates, bowls, glasses, napkins, utensils, etc. on the table

“Kids, could you please set the table? We’ll be eating in 10 minutes.”
set a fire / set something on fire = cause something to start burning with fire

“Some fireworks accidentally hit the house next door and set the roof on fire.”
set an alarm = schedule/program an alarm to sound (go off) at a certain time

“We’re leaving at 9 tomorrow morning, so you should set your alarm for 8:00.”
set sail = begin a journey on the ocean in a boat

“The weather was windy and cold when we set sail from Alaska.”
set a record = establish/create a record; do something better than anyone has done it before

“One athlete set a record for the fastest time in Olympic history.”
set a good/bad example = establish/show some behavior that can influence others for good or bad

“You shouldn’t swear around kids; you don’t want to set a bad example for them.”
set a precedent = establish a situation that could become a tradition or will be used as reference for future similar situations. It usually refers to a legal decision that may be considered a standard for future cases.

“The case in 1998 set a precedent that drunk drivers should be punished severely.”
set a trap = prepare a piece of equipment to catch an animal, or prepare a strategy to catch, trick, or hurt an unsuspecting person

“The hunters set a trap for foxes.”
set foot = enter a particular place or step on a particular area

“If you ever set foot on my property again, I’ll call the police.”
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English Idioms And Expressions With SET
(something) is all set = it’s completely ready/finished

“Just sign the application here, and then you’re all set!”
(you’ve finished the application)
set your heart/mind/hopes/sights on = desire something, want to get it or do it

“She’s set her sights on attending an elite university.”
dead set on/against = extremely determined to do something or extremely opposed to something

“He’s dead set against his daughter marrying an ex-convict.”
“My friend is dead set on getting a dog, even though I tried to convince her not to do it.”
set the record straight = correct a mistake or misunderstanding

“I want to set the record straight – it wasn’t me who ate the last piece of pizza.”
set in your ways = having a fixed attitude/routine and not being very open to change or new ideas

“My manager is very set in his ways. He doesn’t even like to upgrade the software on his computer.”
not set in stone = flexible, not confirmed or final

“We’re hoping to go on vacation the last weekend in August, but it’s not set in stone yet.”
set the stage for = make preparations for another activity to occur

“This meeting will set the stage for our partnership.”
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English Phrasal Verbs With SET
set apart = make something noticeable and distinct from others

“The quality of his work is what really sets him apart from his competitors.”
set aside = put something to the side because you will not use it at the moment (or because you will use it later)

“She set aside the dictionary and continued reading the novel.”
set back = cause a delay. The noun form “setback” can also be used for an event that delayed things

“We found some problems with the house that set the renovations back two weeks.”
“He has succeeded despite a lot of setbacks in his life.”
set something down = put it down

“He set the hammer down on the table.”
set in = begin to happen (often used for seasons, trends, feelings, etc.)

“Three months after moving to the city, regret set in.“
set off = begin a journey or cause/trigger an event (especially an alarm or explosion)

“We set off on our hike early in the morning.”
“The ball hit the car and set off the alarm.”
“The announcement of the new law set off a wave of protests.”
set out = begin a journey or display things for viewing

“We set out on our hike early in the morning.”
“Set out all the products that are on sale so the customers can see them.”
set up = establish, assemble, or prepare a structure for use

“The workers set up the circus tent in less than an hour.”
Phrasal Verbs in English

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