You can use the word "set" as a verb, a noun, or as an adjective. It has many different meanings.

As a verb, "set" is generally used for something that is made, established, created, planned, or prepared:

  • Please set the table. (Put the plates, the silverware, the napkins, etc. on the table.)
  • The runner in the marathon set a new record.
  • We need to set a date for a meeting.
  • Gwen and Nathan set a date for their wedding.
  • The police set a trap to catch some criminals.
  • I need to set the time on my computer.
  • What time does the sun set? (set = go down)
  • In which part of the world is this story set? (set = take place)

setting up a tent

They’re setting up a tent.

As a noun, a "set" is a group or an arrangement:

  • Pamela got a set of knives as a home warming gift.
  • Do you have a chess set at home?
  • The children across the street have a swing set in their backyard.
  • We need to get a new set of silverware.
  • The band quickly prepared for its next set. (set = a part of a performance)
  • Quiet on the set. (set = the place where a movie is filmed and the actors perform)

As an adjective, to be "set" is to be ready:

  • Are you all set for your trip?
  • These boxes are all set and ready to be shipped.
  • Kim and Igor are set on moving to New York. (be set on = to have decided on something)
  • The teacher waited until the students were set and paying attention.

You can learn more about the word "set" in the Purple Level where there are more examples of how to use this word as a verb. Click here.

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Published June 12, 2012