Understanding English Grammar – phrasal verbs ‘set’ part 1

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The next verb we’re going to look at is ‘to set’ combined with particles. Here are the first of the most common:

‘to set about’ is to dealing with something in a particular way.

  • I need to find a new flat but I’m not sure how to set about looking for one.
  • I don’t think you are setting about it the right way.

‘to set against’ means balance one thing against another.

  • The advantages are not so big when set against the disadvantages.
  • We can set our expenses against the tax.

‘to be set against’ something means to be opposed to doing it.

  • He won’t change his mind. He is absolutely set against it.
  • His parents were set against him becoming a musician and made him study engineering.

‘to set aside’ means to use something, often time or money, for a specific purpose.

  • I have enough money for the deposit set aside.
  • I’ve set aside Monday and Tuesday to work on it.

‘to set back’ is to cause a delay.

  • Bad weather was the reason that the launch of the rocket was set back until Monday.
  • The whole project has been set back by the late delivery of some of the parts.

‘to set down’ something you are holding means to put it down.

  • She lifted up the teapot but set it down again without pouring any tea.
  • The waitress set down an enormous plate of steak and salad in front of me.

‘to set down’ your ideas or some facts means to record by writing them.

  • Here is the leaflet where we have set down guidelines for our employees.
  • We were all asked to set down our views on what had happened.

‘to set in’ is when something unpleasant starts and seems likely to continue.

  • It looks as if the rain has set in for the afternoon.
  • Panic didn’t really set in until just before I was due to give my presentation.

‘to set off’ means to start on a journey.

  • Sorry we’re late. We didn’t set off until half past eight.
  • The weather was perfect when we set off but it was raining when we got back.


exercise 2

exercise 3



Nov 11, 2010, 11:40 am

Xcellent resource that everyone have to utilise

Carol Covey

Nov 11, 2010, 12:06 pm

Good stuff! Thanks a lot!

Sunil Ramteke

Nov 11, 2010, 3:02 pm

Dear Pearson,
Very wonderful lesson on phrasal verb ‘set’.Thank very much.

giovanni corso

Nov 11, 2010, 4:29 pm

I am very happy to improve my English with you. But I need more practice.
Thank you

Miriam Rodas Borges

Nov 11, 2010, 5:09 pm

I do love all your lessons, and they´ve been very useful to me.
Thanks a lot for your precious help.
Warm regards,


Nov 11, 2010, 1:44 am

Thank you very much. These emails are very useful.


Nov 11, 2010, 8:48 am

pls send me phrase set part 1(english grammar)


Nov 11, 2010, 9:59 am

You can find it on this site


Nov 11, 2010, 10:45 am

Thank you!
Your lessons help me a lot with my ESL!


Nov 11, 2010, 2:47 pm

Pearson..Thankyou some excellently clear examples!

I will be using some of these to assist in creating lesson plans for this term.


Teacher of English


Nov 11, 2010, 2:51 pm

Pearson..Thankyou for your lesson today.
Also some excellently clear examples to inspire me!

I will be using some of these to assist in creating lesson plans for this term.


Teacher of English

Ameer Ibraheem

Nov 11, 2010, 3:14 pm

I have studied English for many years, but never come across such wonderful way of tuition.
I feel like, I have just been introduced to “set” for the first time!
Many thanks


Nov 11, 2010, 8:22 pm

Your english execises are very useful to me.But i need more practice.
Many thanks

kitty fan

Nov 11, 2010, 6:03 pm

hello too every body………


Nov 11, 2010, 5:49 am

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Thank you so much for this class.


Nov 11, 2010, 10:12 am

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Nov 11, 2010, 4:30 pm

Hi for every body!!

Pearson, thank you so much for the useful lessons you send us.

I really appreciate your help, I have improved my english with this great lessons.



Nov 11, 2010, 6:15 pm

I have improved my english with theses classes, thank you very much.

Napidukuya David

Nov 11, 2010, 1:47 pm

This stuff will surely improve verbal and writing

william g. alba

Nov 11, 2010, 7:00 pm

thank much for all the lesson u sent.. Godbless


Nov 11, 2010, 9:40 pm

Dear Pearson:

Thanks a lot for your useful Englisg Grammar Lessons and Exrecises!

More Power!!!

Elizabeth ( Liezl)


Nov 11, 2010, 1:05 am

Thank you for sharing your excellent work.

yousef sharif

Nov 11, 2010, 5:29 am

thanks alot dear pearson you are agreat peron>


Nov 11, 2010, 9:51 am

thank u for all really i find it very interesting.


Nov 11, 2010, 7:46 am

Thanks for supplying me with great material for my English Conversation course

Jesus Rojas

Nov 11, 2010, 11:48 pm

Thank you for sharing this work that we may use as a reference.

Hernán Quiroga

Mar 3, 2011, 9:12 pm

Sorry, I really have no website.

A short message to Mr. Pearson Brown…

Thank you for all. So inconditional all the time. Amazing soldier.

From an Argentine student.


Jun 6, 2011, 3:48 pm

” to set off ” means to stars a journey
I think it is wrong.
It must be ” to set out”

Comments are closed.