"Set" is, in most ordinary uses, a transitive verb needing an object. It means to put or place something in a certain position, or to arrange. Its principal parts are: set, setting, set, set. Examples: 1) She set the table. 2) He set the watch. "Sit" is, in ordinary usage, an intransitive verb. It means to rest somewhere (like a chair) in an upright position. Its principal parts are: sit, sitting, sat, sat. Examples: He sits down. "Sit" can also be used to talk about where an object is located. Example: The clock sits on the shelf. In a few instances "sit" is used as a transitive verb, such as in: He sat himself down.
When heavenly bodies sink below the horizon, they are referred to as "setting," not "sitting." Examples: 1) the sun set at 6:00 p.m. 2) let's watch the setting sun.
Practice What You've Learned
Click to select the correct word usage in the following sentences.
Please (set) (sit) at the head table.
Mary, will you help me (set) (sit) the table?
We enjoy walking to Goleta Pointe to watch the (setting) (sitting) sun.
Were you (setting) (sitting) next to Joe at the assembly?
(Setting) (Sitting) on the table was the rare book.
Don't sit on the cushion that I (set) (sat) on the bench.
He (set) (sit) his goals too high.
I told you not to (set) (sit) there.
The class (set) (sat) in the third row.
Did you (set) (sit) the clocks for daylight saving time?
We have always (set) (sat) at this table.
(Setting) (Sitting) tall in their chairs, they listened intently.
The moon (set) (sat) before daylight.
Please (set) (sit) the groceries on the table.
We will be (setting) (sitting) a new course this year.
The group just (set) (sat) on their hands and did nothing.